In a modern-day Christmas tradition, the Department of Corrections has released the annual holiday menu for prisoners.

The main meal of the day will be served at lunchtime, and the evening meal will consist of sandwiches.

Corrections National Commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot said the main meal would meet basic nutritional requirements but not be extravagant.

Roast chicken, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, green peas, two slices of bread, and an apple pie with custard will be served.


A vegetarian option is also available and special dietary requirements will be catered for.

This year's menu was similar to last year's and would be similar to the food offered at Mt Eden Corrections Facility, run by private company Serco.

"We recognise that Christmas can be a tough time for many people who have friends and family members in prison and we are committed to marking the day in an appropriate way," he said.

A number of organisations support prisoners' families through this time such as the Prison Fellowship New Zealand (PFNZ), which runs a programme called Angel Tree.

That programme distributes donated gifts or money to help a gift going from the parent in prison to their child.

Children of prisoners' charity Pillars provides presents for children registered with them as well as a gift and hamper for their parent or caregiver.

Prison visits do not take place on statutory holidays, however, they run as usual over the rest of the holiday period, he said.