More prisoners allowed use of mobile phones

Published 07/05/2014 | 05:22

Shelton Abbey Open Prison, Arklow, Co Wicklow

A PILOT scheme to allow Shelton Abbey prisoners possession of mobile phones while in custody has expanded to allow over half of the prison's population to benefit from the initiative.

The new system was introduced to the open prison last November and four prisoners were initially signed up. Now a total of 55 inmates have been granted the privilage, more than half of the 94 who are currently serving sentences there.

'The Governor at Shelton Abbey is very happy with how the scheme is working out and there have been no issues with it which is why the numbers have increased,' said a spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service.

'The prisoners agree at the start that they will not misuse the system and all the PIN and PUK codes are made known to the Governer from the outset.'

The primary reason behind permitting possession of mobile phones in prison is to encourage prisoners to behave correctly and it serves as an incentive to them to comply with the rules.

'It encourages the prisoner to be on their best behaviour and is an incentive for this as they have more to lose.

'It forms part of the enhanced regime programme which certain prisoners are part of,' added the spokesperson.

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