Prisoners are to have personal televisions removed from their cells and will be charged two dollars a week to use see-through sets which will make it harder for them to hide contraband.
The Government says the move will save an estimated $400,000 a year in security vetting and transport costs, and it will put that money towards new education channels it is developing to improve literacy and numeracy among prisoners.
Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said today that the clear plastic-cased televisions would let officers detect hidden objects and remove any risk of prisoners trying to access the internet, because the new devices would be secure.
Prisoners would be charged $2 per week to rent them, "a substantial amount" given that many of them earned between 20 cents 60c an hour, she said.
"We want safe, secure prisons and the new rental scheme, funded by prisoners, will help deliver this," she said.
Tolley said the scheme was expected to pay for itself within three years, with savings and any profits to be reinvested in the development of two prison education channels, to support the delivery of literacy and numeracy, and rehabilitation to prisoners.
The scheme will start at Christchurch Men's Prison in November and be rolled out to prisons across the country in the following 12 months.
Prisoners will only be able to view channels one, two and three, Prime and Maori Television and two education channels, which are in the early stages of development.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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