An Analysis of the Potential Restaurant Operations have for Rehabilitating Offenders

A case study of Her Majesty’s Prison, The Verne

Authored by: Sonja Beier

The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415702553
eBook ISBN: 9780203795699
Adobe ISBN: 9781134457335


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To counteract high recidivism rates among ex-offenders, the British government has been working on reforming rehabilitation practices in British prisons. Simultaneously, a couple of notable prison establishments across the country have developed their own rehabilitative methods. HMP (Her Majesty’s Prison) The Verne offers prisoners a qualification in catering at its jailhouse café while serving their sentences, and exposes them to controlled contact with the public. The café represents a training facility for “suitably risk-assessed prisoners to obtain an NVQ (national vocational qualification) level 2 in Catering” with the goal of giving the prisoners “experience and qualifications that will hopefully reduce reoffending” (McGowen, cited in Kitching, 2011). Since December 2011, the jailhouse café has been open to the public and is today run by the social enterprise Expia CIC, a community interest company that recently opened another jailhouse café at HMP Guys Marsh, the north Dorset prison (This is Dorset, 2012). Two other prisons in Great Britain that follow the trend of rehabilitation through hospitality are HMP High Down in Surrey and HMP/YOI Askham Grange in York. This paper analyses how hospitality can foster offender rehabilitation by comparing the industry’s nature with what is needed for rehabilitation.

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