HC Deb 21 October 1992 vol 212 cc295-6W
Mr. Betts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in what circumstances any prisoner who is a Muslim is entitled to have halal meat at any meal; what alternatives are available; and if he will make a statement;

(2) for what reasons Muslim prisoners at Armley prison cannot obtain halal meat at weekday meals; what plans exist to change this situation; and whether the current instruction is consistent with the prison dietary scale.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Prison service standing orders provide that prisoners are entitled to a diet which accords with the requirements of their religion as agreed between a relevant religious body and prison service headquarters. The directory and guide on religious practices in the prison service sets out the permitted observances and facilities for Muslim prisoners, as agreed with the Islamic Cultural Centre. This provides that prison establishments should seek to provide halal meat on a number of days each week. Where halal meat is not available and other meat is not acceptable, a vegetarian diet should be provided. The arrangements at Her Majesty's prison, Leeds accord with these requirements. Halal meat is provided at the weekends; otherwise a vegetarian diet is available in accordance with the dietary scales.