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Scottish Inmates Scam Prison System in Bid for Kosher Meals

Life imitates art, again.

“Orange is the New Black” fans might remember the episode in which a handful of prisoners pretended to be Jewish so they could eat the more edible kosher meals.

Well, that’s actually happening right now in Glenochil Prison, a detention center in the county of Clackmannanshire, Scotland.

More than 100 inmates have signed up for kosher meals, The Jewish Chronicle reports, while the actual number of Jewish prisoners in Scotland clocks in at nine people as of 2014.

This spike in “Jewish” prisoners costs the Scottish prison system thousands of pounds, as the food must be prepared in an external kosher kitchen. And the catch is, the detention center really can’t do anything about it. The Scottish Prison Service is obligated to fulfill the religious food needs of the prisoners — without question.

“We have to do what we have to do,” Tom Fox, a spokesperson for Glenochil Prison, said. He added, however, that the prisoners may not quite be getting what they bargained for.

“I think there is the assumption that by identifying as a particular religion, that you will get you better food in prison,” he explained. “But that is not always the case.”

Thea Glassman is a Multimedia Fellow at the Forward. Reach her at and on Twitter at @theakglassman.




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