Wednesday 10 August 2011 by Spacey

‘Prisons like holiday camps’ myth dispelled as report shows prisoners still using VHS


The myth that prisons are like holiday camps has been debunked after a shocking report highlighted that prisoners at Wandsworth prison are being forced to use outdated home entertainment formats such as VHS and the Sega Mega Drive.

The report carried out by chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick revealed incidents such as a prisoner being forced to use a video recorder that was so old the controller had a lead that had to be connected by hand.

Hardwick told reporters, “I know that prisons are there to punish people, but I think subjecting them to the humiliation of a top loading VCR in this day and age is barbaric.”

The report also revealed that some prisoners were granted access to a Sega Mega Drive, but were only being given one controller.

This led to complaints from prisoners that they couldn’t play against each other, and had to suffer the inconvenience of “taking it in turns”.

Prison like ‘a prison’

However, the report did acknowledge that the food was of a better standard than that consumed at the majority of UK holiday camps.

The report has been greeted with dismay by prison campaigners, with League for Penal Reform chief executive Frances Crook telling us, “This report highlights the shocking neglect that takes places in today’s prisons.”

“I mean the log flume ride at Wandsworth was described in the report as ‘an accident waiting to happen’.”

If Wandsworth Prison is unable to offer basic facilities such as Ten-pin bowling, then just how much rehabilitation work to reduce re-offending do we think is actually going on?”

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