There are some prisons that are worth visiting, among other reasons because they are already empty. In some you can even sleep, but with the certainty of leaving the next day, of course! This one, however, is even more special. In Brixton Prison, south London, it operates since a year ago (just celebrated the first anniversary) an open to the public, managed and staffed by inmates restaurant. Real food and real prisoners, an experience that goes beyond gastronomy.
The Clink Brixton Restaurant follows the Clink’s Five Step Programme, which has already been successfully applied in two other similar establishments: educating prisoners and equipping them with the necessary skills and tools to guarantee them a job when they leave free. According to what the program organizers say, they offer a real work environment for the prisoners, and always with a high level service in which over 24 prisoners participate every year. Inmates involved in the project are in the final phase of their sentence. The aim is to reduce recidivism (in 2012 only one of the 88 prisoners who went through the Clink program reoffended).
Some things we should know. Alcohol is prohibited on the premises. And so it is the yeast that could be used to make moonshine. A three course meal with coffee costs about 30 euros. Reservations must be made on their website. From there, the security team must approve the access for customers, and check that they have no relationship (friendship or enmity) with convicts. Electronic devices must be left at the box office: no photos to Instagram. Finally, the cutlery is made of plastic. Beyond all this, the restaurant looks normal, with slate walls and a cool environment.
This Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton, with seats for 120 people, has been installed in the Regency Roadhouse, which was former home of the Governor of Brixton Prison. And with excellent results!
Address: Her Majesty’s Prison Brixton. Jebb Avenue. Brixton. London.