The Durham Regional Police Service will have to appear before a judge to explain its new, slimmed-down lunch menu for prisoners awaiting their day in court.

Cheese sandwiches and a can of pop are off the menu. A snack bar and a box of juice are on, under a change introduced in August.

They do get a full breakfast in jail at 5 a.m. before they are taken to court, but then they don't return until 7 p.m. -- 14 hours later.

"They complain about headaches at the end of the day," said defence lawyer Daniel Brown. "Some of them are throwing up on the bus on the way home. It's very difficult to sit through an entire day of proceedings."

CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney said Friday from outside the courts in Oshawa that prisoners tell him in jail, the food might not be good, but it's plentiful.

"It's not enough, I'm hungry," one prisoner told CTV Toronto.

Durham police say the sandwich and pop cost too much -- about three dollars versus under a dollar for the bar and juice

Brown has subpoenaed the regional police chief, but another senior officer showed up Friday.

"Bear in mind, (the) $90,000 we spent on lunches last year, that's one policeman on the street," said Supt. Michael Ennis.

Durham police argue the lunch tab should be the responsibility of the corrections ministry, not them.

A judge will hear Brown's motion on Nov. 17.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney