Con Air: Radio station for prisoners to cost taxpayers £2million

A new prison radio station beaming programmes into cells is being rolled out across the country.

Prison Service bosses have sanctioned the launch of the station broadcasting to jails across England and Wales at a reported cost of £2 million.

It will see material including messages and 'educational programmes' beamed 12 hours a day to around 140 prisons.

prison cell

Prisoners will be able to listen to the new radio station - which is reported to cost £2million

The Ministry of Justice said the go-ahead for the operation was given after it was found keeping inmates locked up for longer each day was saving £17 million a year.

Running costs will come from existing budgets, the ministry says, with help also coming from the Prison Radio Association charity.

A Justice Ministry spokesman said: 'The new prison core day, which saves the prison service £17 million a year, means prisoners spend more time in their cells.

'The prison service national radio service will allow us to communicate messages and educational programmes to them during this time, and while they are working in the prison. It can also be used to communicate to prisoners in the event of an incident.'

Shadow justice minister Edward Garnier said he would prefer prisoners to be working rather than lying on their beds listening to messages.

He told The Sun: 'The Government has presided over the worst prison overcrowding in the history of the Prison Service. Now it tries to pretend pumping radio programmes into cells makes everything all right. It would be comic if it were not so tragic.'

Data last week showed the prison population in England and Wales was 81,748.

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