Who pays for a television enclosure for prison?
How much does it cost for a television enclosure for prison? For the UK tax payer, is costs millions of pounds, but what is the alternative? Obviously one solution is to not have any television screens for the prisoners, but doesn’t that go against their human rights? What ever your view point; political or humanitarian, thousands of television screens are watched in the UK’s jails. Whether it is an education program, a documentary or some form of entertainment, one thing is for sure the screen needs protecting. Prisons and detention centres are volatile and at times hostile environments, where anything is seen as a missile or weapon and it is very easy to smash an unprotected screen and use the shards of glass as a lethal knife. The consequences can be fatal and must be avoided at all costs. Humanitarians would argue for the access to television sets as an essential humane value, especially as many prisoners, detainees or inmates are cut off from the outside world, so this is their only access.
Providing a duty of care; provide a television enclosure for prison
What do men and women watch in their cells? A study has been carried out to observe which television channels detainees are allowed to watch in their cells has been published.
Even up to the last couple of years, there was an obvious gender split – with sports programs for men and comedies and soap dramas for the women. However there is controversy as some subsequent subscription channels have been disallowed because of the cost of the monthly subscription. Yet some of the women’s channels have been allowed to continue, despite the cost. The approved viewing list has diminished, leaving the prisoners with limited access to free-to-air programs. The UK prison service’s policy is that inmates could only watch a television set in their cells; as a reward for good behaviour. However, depending on where a prisoner is held the rules are different, as some detention centres are privately run and have given access to pay to view channels.
One thing is for certain, the television screens MUST be protected, by a television enclosure for prison, against deliberate or unintended damage by way of an institutional TV enclosure. This is a specially designed metal ‘box’, which is far more than just a box or cover. The design features sloping sides, which conform to US Federal Approval for prevention of self-harm. One prison officer told a BBC reporter that an inmate had thrown a TV at another officer and smashed it all to pieces on the floor of his cell, apparently he it was replaced within a few hours. Whether you agree with this or not, the key point is this would not have happened had the prison invested in TV security enclosures. Protecting the inmate, prison officer, other staff and property would have all been cover from harm, not to mention the inconvenience, disruption and additional costs (to the UK taxpayer!).