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Prisons: Entertainment

Volume 691: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

How much HM Prison Service spent on (a) television sets; (b) radios or compact disc players; (c) mobile phones; (d) Sony PlayStations; and (e) all other forms of electronic game consoles for use by prisoners in each of the last three financial years. [HL2822]

The Prison Service spent the following amounts on in-cell television sets in the last three years: 2005-06 £763,472; 2004-05 £1,008,819; and 2003-04 £1,107,190.

Public funds are not used to support the purchase of television sets used in cells. These costs are covered by the weekly rental paid by prisoners for the use of the sets. Some prisons may purchase radios or compact disc players, and Sony PlayStations, from surplus funds generated from prisoner-related activities. The details of these purchases are not held centrally and cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost. Radios or compact disc players, and Sony PlayStations and all other forms of electronic game consoles, may be bought by prisoners from their own money.

Prisoners are not allowed to purchase mobile phones.