The idea is justified on the grounds that prisoners normally have to queue for ages to use the public telephones. If they have their own phones they can call loved ones at times of need.
Critics say, of course, that providing such 'luxuries' to prisoners negates the whole point of imprisonment. According to the Mail on Sunday prisons should be a place "that people do not want to go back to."
One ex-offender whom the INQ consulted claimed that prisoners have been smuggling mobile phones inside for ages. The frightening thing is that they normally hide them up their backsides.
It brought tears to our eyes to learn that this method of smuggling applied to the phone charger too.
"The only difference this will make is that prisoners wouldn't be afraid to receive calls," he told the INQ. "You always turned the phone off straight after you'd used it because if the phone rang then the [wardens] would know you had it." µ
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