Some of Scotland's most notorious convicts are claiming to have converted to Judaism in a bid to get better food while in prison. The inmates, including killers, rapists and fraudsters, say they are Jewish to get kosher food which costs twice as much as normal prison food in an idea thought to have been lifted from cult US TV show Orange is the New Black.
In 2013-14, there were only thought to be nine Jewish inmates in Scotland's jails. Now more than 130 are claiming to have adopted the Jewish faith including 90 at Glenochil prison and 40 at Saughton. Each kosher meal costs the taxpayer £5.20 as opposed to the normal cost of £2.50. Kosher food is prepared in special kitchens and is thought to be of higher quality.
Among the convicts who are claiming to have converted are murderer Gavin Boyd, fraudster Cameron Corsie and underworld killer Robert "Birdman" O'Hara. An anonymous source within HMP Addiewell, where O'Hara is based, told Scotland's Daily Record the gangster was simply being awkward — and costing the prison service thousands of pounds in the process.
"The Birdman [O'Hara] is claiming to be Jewish because he believes the grub is tastier than normal prison food.," said the source. "Dozens of the country's most vile prisoners are doing the same thing in other prisons because they've got nothing better to do. Everyone in here knows this is just another attempt to be awkward and waste taxpayers' money." The source added: "I can't wait to see their faces when it's bacon butties on the menu and they're told they're not allowed any. "
Whereas in Scotland prisoners are converting to Judaism, in England many are converting to Islam. This is thought to be partly because of the halal food, including curries, they subsequently receive but also for protection or because of threats by Muslim inmates.
According to the Prison Officers Association Muslim gangs have a strong presence in prisons and assault and threaten non-Muslims until they convert. It was claimed recently that Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe had been offered protection by Muslim gangs in prison if he converted. (Daily Star).