Inmates at a Midlands jail are playing computer games in their cells after winning the privilege because of good behaviour, it was revealed today.
A total of 87 criminals at Featherstone Prison in South Staffordshire can play consoles, while others have games stored in lockers ready for when they start behaving well.
The moves were today branded a ‘disgrace’ by MPs and councillors, who have now launched a campaign for a blanket ban on all games consoles in jails, claiming: “These are not hotels.”
Gavin Williamson, the Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, said: “This is nothing but a disgrace and I’d like to see this idea scrapped.”
Paul Uppal, fellow Tory MP for Wolverhampton South West, said that the news would ‘frustrate’ the average taxpayer.
Bosses at the Ministry of Justice said that any games consoles had to be bought out of the prisoners’ own finances and not from public funds.
No criminals are allowed to use games consoles such as PlayStation 3, Wii or X-box, because they are not allowed to connect to the internet for security reasons.
Criminals have to earn the chance to play computer games through the 682-inmate jail’s Incentive and Earned Privileges scheme – by demonstrating good behaviour.
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright MP however highlighted that scheme would be overhauled from November, inisisting privileges would be hard-earned and not granted through good behaviour alone.