World of Sport

Prisoners’ fury at ‘only having one Sky Sports channel’

World of Sport

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Pampered
prisoners in a South Wales jail have lodged a formal complaint because they
only have one of the four Sky Sports channels.

The inmates reportedly believe that their human rights
are being violated because they are only able to see Sky Sports 1 and cannot follow key games shown on the
company's other channels.

One officer
at Category B prison HMP Parc in Bridgend told The Telegraph, "They can spend all day watching Sky Sports 1. But
they're hacked off because they don't have Sky Sports 2 and 3. They've been
moaning it is a breach of their human rights.

"Some have even talked about
taking it to the courts and the taxpayers may have to pay their legal aid
bills."

The reports have already drawn strong
criticism from Monmouth MP David Davies, who said, "It beggars belief they are complaining about this - I
haven't even got Sky Sports myself."

"I
am aghast that we are paying for prisoners to watch Sky TV. What next? Will
prisoners be given a box at the Millennium Stadium for rugby matches?

"People
should not be put in prison to spend their days watching expensive satellite
packages. They should be educated and learn skills for their rehabilitation
when they come out."

The
prison are believed to be spending around £100 a month as it is to show Sky
Sports 1 to inmates - a reward, officials say, for good behaviour - as part of
a 'community premises' package.

To
upgrade would cost around approximately £80 a month extra.

The prison has defended the scheme,
with a spokesman saying that the current channel serves as an incentive for
good behaviour.

"We offer Sky Sports 1 as a
privilege that has to be earned and that is the only sports channel we
offer," she said.

"These are privileges and
inmates have to demonstrate that they are complying with the regime and with
prison policy.

"Prisoners always complain about
their lot but when you've got a lot of spare time on your hands you tend to
complain about things."

UPDATE: Officials from security firm G4S, who run the prison, have denied that a formal complaint has been lodged.

While HMP Parc do run a rewards scheme which involves Sky Sports 1 access, Barry Greenberry, director of operations for G4S custody and detention services, said: "We are happy to confirm there is not, and has never been, any formal complaint from prisoners about access to TV sports channels."

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