Amy B. Smoyer, PhD

Incarcerated Lives, Health & Social Work

Danish Prison Food Systems

In 2014, Amy was awarded a US Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research in Denmark. Her research involved visiting 3 correctional facilities - a closed prison, an open prison, and a jail - to observe food practices and talk with prison staff and incarcerated people.

Denmark's rate of incarceration is among the lowest in the world. Their correctional system, based on theories of normalization and responsibility, requires that all incarcerated people shop, cook, and clean for themselves; there are no cafeterias in Danish prisons.  (People held in jails are served catered meals from an institutional kitchen.)


Smoyer, A. B. (2014) Incarcerated Foodways: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Prison Food, Policy & Practices. U.S. Scholar Program (Denmark), Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Award: $18,000

Related Publications & Presentations:

  •  Smoyer, A. B. (2015, March). Women’s experiences with food and eating in Danish prison: A comparative analysis. Paper presented at 8th Annual Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health: Boston, MA.