Irish prisoners are getting Netflix streamed into their jail cells to help them cope with the coronavirus crisis behind bars.
The inmates can now binge on movies and series for 12 hours a day because they are being kept in their cells for longer periods as part of Covid-19 measures introduced by the Irish Prison Service (IPS).
The Netflix service has been rolled out in prisons across the country and last week inmates in a Dublin jail were treated to a marathon session of popular shows 'Narcos' and 'Ozarks' from 10am to 10pm.
Both programmes are critically acclaimed, with 'Narcos' focusing on the empire of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the later 'Narcos: Mexico' on the origins of the modern drugs war.
'Ozarks', featuring award-winning actor Jason Bateman, is a series about a money launderer working for a drugs cartel while living in the remote Ozark region.
While the Netflix service was introduced for inmates, it is being controlled by staff inside the jails rather than by the prisoners themselves.
The decision to roll out the streaming service was part of a range of measures after prison visits were cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
A spokesman for the IPS said: "During this current Covid-19 crisis, the level of constructive activity and out-of-cell time for prisoners is greatly reduced. The prison education centres have been closed in line with Government directives and several cohorts of people in custody are being held in isolation or are cocooned or have been quarantined to their cells to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
"The Irish Prison Service has put in place a facility whereby prison management can broadcast films, programmes or series from Netflix to a single additional channel on in-cell televisions. The schedule to be shown on the additional channel will be determined by [management] - prisoners do not have direct access to Netflix," the IPS spokesperson added.