In-cell phones possible for UK inmates

A number of jails are being considered for a pilot scheme in which inmates will be able to make outgoing calls from the landlines, rather than communal phones on landings


By James Edgar
Press Association

LONDON — Prisoners could soon have telephones fitted inside their cells, the Ministry of Justice said today.

A number of jails are being considered for a pilot scheme in which inmates will be able to make outgoing calls from the landlines, rather than communal phones on landings.

The current front-runner for the trial is HMP Isis, a young offenders institute that houses 622 under-25s within the walls of HMP Belmarsh in south-east London.

Officials are concerned with growing numbers of mobile phones being smuggled into prisons as well as the security issues of prisoners queueing to use public phones.

Under the pilot scheme, calls to friends and family will be recorded, as they are currently, but conversations with lawyers will remain private.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "Access to landline phones for prisoners is normal practice.

"The Prison Service is currently exploring possibilities of a pilot installation in a state-run establishment as we recognise the benefits of such a system.

"Any pilot will be monitored carefully before a decision is made on its roll-out.''

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