Prisoners 'paid to play Scrabble'

Violent prisoners in British prisons are being paid to participate in activities such as playing Scrabble, learning guitar and looking after fish tanks, it has emerged.

The schemes, which are used at prisons such as Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire and Wakefield prison in Yorkshire, enable prisoners to earn credits through the participation in such "constructive activities."

The credits, which are obtained by completing at least 30 minutes of such activities, can then be used to obtain personal items such as toiletries and tobacco.

Other activities through which prisoners can earn credits include playing ping-pong and other sports, going to the gym or library, cleaning, attending classes or visiting a psychologist.

The scheme was revealed in a report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers on jail segregation.

Ms Owers said: "This was a positive initiative that places a degree of responsibility on prisoners to structure their day and to sustain a pattern of constructive activity."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

30 April 2013
Prisoners' Privileges Shake-Up Announced
The Ministry of Justice has announced a major shake-up to the rights of prisoners to receive privileges, to be introduced before the end of the year. Under the new rules, prisoners in England and Wales will have to "work towards their own rehabilitation and help others" in order to earn privileges.
25 April 2006
Foreign prisoners escape deportation
More than 1,000 foreign prisoners have been released in the UK instead of being deported, Home Office figures have shown. The number includes three murderers and nine rapists, as well as five people convicted of committing sex offences on children, seven convicted for other sex offences, 57 for violent offences and two for manslaughter.
22 May 2012
Government To Decide If Prisoners Get The Vote
The UK will be able to decide whether to allow prisoners the vote, following a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights. The international court ruled today that it is up to individual governments how they implement a ban on convicted prisoners voting.
22 September 2005
E-coli cases on the increase in Wales
There has been an increasing number of e-coli cases in Wales with 22 identified in the last few days. Environmental Health Officers are interviewing all close contacts of the cases, as part of a wider in-depth investigation to identify the potential source.
18 February 2014
Inflation Falls Below BoE Target For First Time In Four Years
The UK's inflation rate has fallen below the Bank of England's target for the first time in over four years. New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in January the inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index, fell to 1.9%, coming in below the BoE target of 2%.