Amy B. Smoyer, PhD

Incarcerated Lives, Health & Social Work

Prison foodways is a term that refers to the behaviors and activities related to the acquisition, preparation, distribution, and consumption of food in prison. Below is a list of current publications about prison foodways from around the world. I try to keep it up to date, but the list is certainly not complete! If you know of additional articles to add to this list, please email me that information and I will be happy to add it!  Thank you!


A.  Prison Foodways in Contemporary Correctional Systems

  1.  Benham, L. (2014). From Utility to Significance: Exploring Ecological Connection, Ethics and Personal Transformation Through a Gardening and Environmental Literacy Program within San Quentin Prison.  Available on-line at:
  2. Bianquis, I. La restauration en milieu carcéral. Pratiques alimentaires et relations sociales. (Catering in a prison environment. Food practices and social relations.)  Master’s Thesis for l'Université François-Rabelais, l'Institut Européen d'Histoire et des Cultures de l'Alimentation (European Institute of Food History and Culture) 
  3. Cate, S. (2008). Breaking bread with a spread in a San Francisco County Jail. Gastronomica, 8(3), 17-24.
  4. Chatterjee, D., & Chatterjee, S. C. (2017). Food in Captivity: Experiences of Women in Indian Prisons. The Prison Journal, 0032885517743444.
  5. Collins, C. C. (2009). Food and performance in the prison system. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Available on-line at:
  6. Collins, C. C. “Final Meals: The Theatre of Capital Punishment.” Theatre Annual 62 (2009): 88-102.
  7. DeGraff, K and Kilty, J.M. (2016). You are what you eat: Exploring the relationship between women, food, and incarceration. Punishment and Society, 18(1), 27-46.
  8. Earle and Phillips, C. (2012). Digesting men? Ethnicity, gender and food: Perspectives from a ‘prison ethnography.’’ Theoretical Criminology, 16(2), 141-156.
  9. Gibson-Light, M. (2018). Ramen Politics: Informal Money and Logics of Resistance in the Contemporary American Prison. Qualitative Sociology41(2), 199-220.
  10. Godderis, R. (2006a). Dining in: The symbolic power of food in prison. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 45(3), 255-267.
  11. Godderis, R. (2006b) Food for thought: An analysis of power and identity in prison food narratives. Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 50, 61-75.
  12. Henderson, J. (2007). Cooked:  From the streets to the stove, from cocaine to foie gras. New York: Harper Collins.
  13. Jones, M. O. (2017). Eating behind bars: On Punishment, Resistance, Policy, and Applied Folkloristics. Journal of American Folklore130(515), 72-108. 
  14. Jonsson, I.M., and Ekström, M.P., (2007). Self-Management and Meal Experiences in Swedish Prisons. Paper from the Conference “INTER: A European Cultural Studies Conference in Sweden”, organised by the Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden (ACSIS) in Norrköping 11-13 June 2007. Available on-line at:
  15. Kjær Minke, L. (2014). Cooking in prison–from crook to cook. International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vo. 10 (4).
  16. Kjær Minke L. & Balvig, F. (2014), Evaluering af kokkeskolen i tre fængsler, [accepted].
  17. Kjær Minke. L. (2012), Indsattes organisering af selvforplejning – spisestuen som et showroom”, Retfærd, Nr. 2, 133, pp.24-40.
  18. Kerman, P. (2010). Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison New York: Spiegel & Grau.
  19.  Milligan, R., Waller, G., & Andrews, B. (2002). Eating disturbances in female prisoners: The role of anger. Eating Behaviors, 3(2), 123-132.
  20. Montange, L. (2017). Hunger strikes, detainee protest, and the relationality of political subjectivization. Citizenship Studies21(5), 509-526.
  21. Murguía, S. J. (2018). Food as a Mechanism of Control and Resistance in Jails and Prisons: Diets of Disrepute. Lexington Books.
  22. Peter, O. (2013). Alimentation et droits des personnes détenues: analyse dans la perspective du droit européen. Revue trimestrielle des droits de l'homme, 93, 97-121. (Food and prisoners’ rights: an analyses in a European Rights perspective)
  23. Smith, C. (2002) Punishment and pleasure: Women, food and the imprisoned body. Sociological Review, 50(2), 197-214.
  24. Smoyer, A. B. (2015).  ‘It’s the Black girls that have the most’:  Foodways narratives and the construction of race in a women’s prison. Food & Foodways, 23, 273-285. doi: 10.1080/07409710.2015.1102480
  25. Smoyer, A. B. & Minke, L.K. (2015).  Food Systems in Correctional Settings: A Literature Review and Case Study.  Copenhagen, DK: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe.
  26. Smoyer, A. B. (2015). Making Fatty Girl cakes: Food and resistance in a women’s prison.  The Prison Journal. doi: 10.1177/0032885515596520
  27. Smoyer, A. B. (2014). Good & Healthy:  Foodways and construction of identity in a women’s prison. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice.  doi: 10.1111/hojo.12097
  28. Smoyer, A. B. (2014). Feeding relationships:  Food and social networks in a women’s prison. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.  doi: 10.1177/0886109914537490
  29. Smoyer, A. B. & Blankenship, K.M.  (2014). Dealing Food: Female drug users’ narratives about food in a prison place and implications for their health. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25, 562-568.
  30. Smoyer, A. B. (2016).  Mapping prison foodways.  In C. Reeves (Ed.), Experiencing Imprisonment: Research on the Experience of Living and Working in Carceral Institutions. Oxford, UK: Routledge.
  31. Stearns, A. E. (2018). Baking Bittersweet: Mothers’ Dessert-Making Behind Bars. Feminist Criminology, 1557085118769748.
  32. Thomas, J. (2008).  Passing time: The ironies of food in prison culture. In L. C. Rubin (Ed.), Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture (pp. 166-179).  Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
  33. Ugelvik, T. (2011). The hidden food: Mealtime resistance and identity work in a Norwegian prison. Punishment & Society, 13(1), 47-63.
  34. Valentine, G. and Longstaff, B. (1998). Doing porridge: Food and social relations in a male prison. Journal of Material Culture, 3(2), 131-152.
  35. Watkins, C. M. (2013). Cultivating Resistance: Food Justice in the Criminal Justice System. Claremont, CA: Pitzer College.  Available on-line at:
  36. Waitkus, K. (2004). The Impact of a Garden on the Physical Environment and Socials Climate of a Prison Yard . Available on-line at:
  37. Wilson, T. (2011). Role of food and the challenges it poses for correctional management Australian Journal of Correctional Staff Development, 6, 1-6.

B.  Cookbooks

  1. Bina, C., Cornelius, T., Holder, B., Johnson, C., Kemmerer, T, and Larson, L. (2010).  From The Big House to Your House: Cooking in Prison. Seattle: The Justice Institute.
  2. Bullington, K. (2013). Creative Snacks, Meals, Beverages and Desserts You Can Make Behind Bars: A cookbook for inmates (and others on a tight budge) looking to put the fun back into food. Middletown, DE: Self-Published.
  3. Chef Artie Cuisine (2006).  Jailhouse Cookbook: The Prisoner's Recipe Bible. New York: Good Read Books.
  4. Collins, C. & Alvarez, G. (2015). Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars.  New York: Workman Publishing.
  5.  Guidi, M (Ed). (2013). Cucinare in Massima Sicurezza. Viterbo: Stampa Alternativa. Available on-line at:
  6. Madhus, M. (2015).  Everyday Cooking on the Inside: A Cookbook for Inmates in Danish Prisons.   Copenhagen, DK:  TrygFonden.     
  7. Wakeen, B. (2008b). Nutrition and Foodservice Management in Correctional Facilities, 3rd Edition. Chicago: American Dietetic Association.
  8. Women of Crossroads (2013). Stinging for Their Suppers: How Women in Prison Nourish Their Bodies and Souls, Claremont, CA: Crossroads, Inc.
  9. Washington State Penitentiary (2004).  The Convict Cookbook.  Walla Walla, WA: Self-Published.

C.  Websites

1.      ITALY:

2.      FRANCE:

3.      USA:

D.  Historical Accounts of Prison Foodways

1.      Dusselier, J. (2002). Does food make place?  Food protests in Japanese American concentration camps.  Food & Foodways, 10(3), 137-165.

2.      Levi, P. (1986). Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening:  Two memoirs. New York: Summit Books.

3.      Tomlinson, M. H. (2007). Not an instrument of punishment: Prison diet in the mid-nineteenth century. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 2(1), 15-26.

4.      Sindler, A. J., Wellman, N. S., & Stier, O. B. (2004). Holocaust survivors report long-term effects on attitudes toward food. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 36(4), 189-196.

E.  Prison Nutrition and Food Service

  1. Baldwin, N., Cardoos, A., & Clarke, J. G. (2017). Understanding Weight Change while Incarcerated: Qualitative Groundwork for a Collaborative Health Intervention.
  2. Binswanger, I. A., Krueger, P. M., & Steiner, J. F. (2009). Prevalence of chronic medical conditions among jail and prison inmates in the United States compared with the general population. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63, 912-919.
  3. Brisman, A. (2008). Fair fare? Food as contested terrain in U.S. prisons and jails. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, 15(1), 49-93.
  4. Brockman, B. (1999). Food refusal in prisoners: a communication or a method of self-killing? Journal of Medical Ethics, 25(6), 451-456.
  5. Clarke, J. G., & Waring, M. E. (2012). Overweight, obesity, and weight change among incarcerated women. Journal of Correctional Health Care,18(4), 285-292.
  6. Choudhry, K., Armstrong, D., & Dregan, A. (2018). Systematic review into obesity and weight gain within male prisons. Obesity research & clinical practice.
  7. Collins, S. A., & Thompson, S. H. (2012). What Are We Feeding Our Inmates? Journal of Correctional Health Care, 18(3), 210-218.
  8. Cook, E. A., Lee, Y. M., White, B. D., & Gropper, S. S. (2015). The diet of inmates: an analysis of a 28-day cycle menu used in a large county jail in the state of Georgia. Journal of Correctional Health Care21(4), 390-399.
  9. Cross, M., & MacDonald, B. (2009). Nutrition in institutions. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. (Chapter on food in prison)
  10. Dong, K., & Tang, A. (2014). Obesity in correctional facilities: A review of epidemiology and etiology. . In V. M. Brennan, S. K. Kumanyika & R. E. Zambran (Eds.), Obesity Interventions in Underserved Communities: Evidence and Directions (pp. 106-122). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  11. Edwards, J. S. A., Hartwell, H. J., Reeve, W. G., & Schafheitle, J. (2007). The diet of prisoners in England. British Food Journal, 109(3), 216-232.
  12. Eves, A., & Gesch, B. (2003). Food provision and the nutritional implications of food choices made by young adult males, in a young offenders' institution. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 16(3), 167-179
  13. Feinstein, R. A., Gomez, R., Gordon, S., Cruise, K., & DePrato, D. (2007). Prevalence of overweight youth among a population of incarcerated juveniles. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 13(1), 39-44.
  14. Firth, C. L., Sazie, E., Hedberg, K., Drach, L., & Maher, J. (2015). Female inmates with diabetes: Results from changes in a prison food environment. Women's Health Issues25(6), 732-738.
  15. Fisher, J., Parry, B., & Snow, P. (1988). A study of food and nutrition in a women's prison. Food Habits in Australia, 313-8.
  16. Fogel, C. I. (1993). Hard time: The stressful nature of incarceration for women. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 14(4), 367-377.
  17. Foster, R. K. (2006). Prison foods. Nutrition Bulletin, 31(3), 173-174.
  18. Harzke, A. J., Baillargeon, J. G., Pruitt, S. L., Pulvino, J. S., Paar, D. P., & Kelley, M. F. (2010). Prevalence of chronic medical conditions among inmates in the Texas prison system. Journal of Urban Health87(3), 486-503.
  19. Herbert, K., Plugge, E., Foster, C., & Doll, H. (2012). Prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases in prison populations worldwide: a systematic review. Lancet, 379(9830), 1975-1982.
  20. Johns, N., Edwards, J. S. A., & Hartwell, H. J. (2013). Hungry in hospital, well-fed in prison? A comparative analysis of food service systems. Appetite, 68(0), 45-50.
  21. Khavjou, O. A., Clarke, J., Hofeldt, R. M., Lihs, P., Loo, R. K., Prabhu, M., et al. (2007). A captive audience:  Bringing the WISEWOMAN program to South Dakota prisoners. Women's Health Issues, 17(4), 193-201.
  22. Kleinman, I. (1986). Force-feeding: The physician's dilemma. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31(4), 313-316.
  23. Larkin, E. P. (1991). Food refusal in prison. Medicine, Science and the Law, 31(1), 41
  24. Leddy, M. A., Schulkin, J., & Power, M. L. (2009). Consequences of high incarceration rate and high obesity prevalence on the prison system. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 15(4), 318-327.
  25. Levy, L. (2009). Guidance on food provisions in prison. Prison Service journal, March, 10-14.
  26. Liu, B. (2004). A Prisoner's Right to Religious Diet Beyond the Free Exercise Clause. 51 UCLA L. Rev. 1151.
  27. Massie, J. A. (2000). Changes in Weight Experienced by Female Inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Available on line at: ADA421171
  28. National Farmers Union in Ontario. (2009, June 18). Revitalizing Canada's Prison Farms National Campaign. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from
  29. Nikolas, H. (2000, October 31). The Well Woman Project:  Meeting women's nutrition needs at the Adelaide Women's Prison. Paper presented at the Women in Corrections, Adelaide, Australia.
  30. Northern Ireland Prison Service. (2005, November 4). Prisoners and staff 'Cook It" at Magilligan. Retrieved 2008, February 4, from
  31. Robinson, K. M., Haupt-Hoffman, D., Stewart, B., Schneider, F., Hamm, N., & Garrison, V. (2006). Is obesity a problem in a juvenile correctional facility? Journal of Correctional Health Care, 12(3), 175-180
  32. Shlafer, R. J., Stang, J., Dallaire, D., Forestell, C.A., and Hellerstedt, W. (2017). Best practices for nutrition care of pregnant women in prison. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 23 (3), 297-304.
  33. Shaw, N. S., Rutherdale, M., & Kenny, J. (1985). Eating more and enjoying it less: U.S. prison diets for women. Women and Health, 10(1), 39-57.
  34. Stein, K. (2000). Foodservice in correctional facilities. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 100(5), 508-509.
  35. Tammam, J., Gillam, L., Gesch, B., & Stein, J. (2012). Reduce junk food consumption. British Medical Journal, 345( 7880), 27-28.
  36. Vanhouche, An-Sofie. (2015). Acceptance or refusal of convenience food in present-day prison. Appetite. In press.
  37. Van Den Berge, H., & Pieters, F. (1992). Voeding der gedetineerden in Belgische gevangenissen. Panopticon, 80-87. (Prisoners’ food in Belgian prisons)
  38. Wansink, B., Kniffin, K. M., & Shimizu, M. (2012). Death row nutrition. Curious conclusions of last meals. Appetite, 59(3), 837-843.
  39. Wakeen, B. (2008b). Nutrition and Foodservice Management in Correctional Facilities, 3rd Edition. Chicago: American Dietetic Association.
  40. WHO: World Health Organization. (2013). Prisons and health: Nutrition. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from
  41. Williams, P., Walton, K., & Hannan-Jones, M. (2009). Prison foodservice in Australia-systems, menus and inmate attitudes. Available online at:
  42. Williams, P. G., Walton, K., Ainsworth, N., & Wirtz, C. (2008). Eating Inside: food service experiences in three Australian prisons. Paper presented at the 6th International Conference of Culinary Arts and Sciences.
  43. Zaalberg, A., Nijman, H., Bulten, E., Stroosma, L., & van der Staak, C. (2010). Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Aggression, Rule-Breaking, and Psychopathology Among Young Adult Prisoners. Aggressive Behavior, 36(2), 117-126.