back to article BT and Siemens slammed over prisoner call rates

BT and Siemens are facing a "super-complaint" over how much they charge prisoners to make phone calls. BT provides the service in England and Wales while Siemens does the same for people in Scottish prisons. The National Consumer Council and sister organisations for Scotland and Wales, as well as the Prison Reform Trust (PRT …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The answer is simple. DON'T COMMIT CRIMES!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a guide to cheaper phone calls ...


    the less contact the criminals have with the outside world the better.

    in fact, just bang them up in a darkened cellar and wait for them to die, it's not exaclt going to be a great loss to the human race now is it

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Will I be the first ?

    Is the pricing thus because the providers have a ..... captive market....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Phones in prisons? Are you serious?

    Get rid of the things. Prison is supposed to be difficult. Or at least put the prices up so that only the tory peers can afford them. All the rest of them do is order drugs on the phones anyway.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    as someone who has done some time in klink i think this will be welcomed.

    10 years ago when i was in the pricing was ridiculous. basic wage @ hmp liverpool = £3/week. phonecards were £2 and since i lived 200 miles from nick i had long distance charges. a £2 card lasted about 10 mins!

    no wonder along with tobacco and narcotics that phone cards are used as currency inside.

    i know i will get loads of daily hail readers moaning that all crims should be exterminated or locked in coffins and buried etc. but there are a lot od ok people inside who just made the odd mistake.

    for me the punishment of prison is being away from family and friends and having no social life.. not being unable to call loved ones, see loved ones (1 hour visit / month in hmp liverpool back then!) and the obligotary abuse from screws (theft, racial abuse, violence etc)...

    still.. according to the papers they all have TVs, duvets and champagne dont they now... :)

  6. Peter Davies

    Why should we care?

    It sounds like good business to me! And why shouldn't businesses try to make a pound a phone call from people who have committed crimes within the UK. It's just a shame it's all privatised now or it could have been worked into the prisoners paying something back to us.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Just give them Skype? They can even hide secret stuff in the data stream?

    Paris - because she knows about the slammer

  8. Vince

    Sod 'em.

    So what, they're in prision, maybe they deserve to be stitched.

    If it was down to me they'd have far less facilities than they get now - often they have more than your average joe in many respects. They did the crime, sod 'em.

    No wonder many re-offend, they get a better life in prison than out.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    They have it easy

    Hospitals charge patients more than that calls at 70p/min and a tv for £2.50/day (in prison it cost 50p/day)

  10. Eponymous Cowherd

    Get to the back of the queue

    The PRT can get to the back of the queue.

    Ofcom needs to sort out the problem of ISP customers being spied on by Phorm, text spamming, premium rate scams, and hospital patients being ripped off by Patientline *before* they worry about convicted criminals getting a dose of their own medicine.

    In other words, they should deal with the crooks ripping off law abiding citizens *before* worrying about the crooks being ripped off themselves.

  11. Paul


    Is what they are talking out of...

    "The public payphone service does not require the same level of investment in systems and security features which are essential to meet the requirements of the Prison Service."

    It may cost a little more to set up, but I can bet it gets alot more use and alot less abuse.

    What they mean is "If we charge to much for pay phones people wont use them, but if we can do what we like when they have no choice."

  12. Russell Preece

    Missed a trick?

    How could you not find a use for a "cell" pun in there somewhere? Come on El Reg!

    Mine's the one with the upward pointing arrows and the large serial number.

  13. Xpositor

    My heart bleeds

    So, its not OK for prisoners to have to pay excessive call charges, when they are where they are as a direct result of their own actions, whilst it is OK for hospital patients to be completely ripped off on call charges when many are where they are through no fault of their own?

  14. pctechxp

    no sympathy

    As a Home Secretary once said 'if you don't want the time, don't do the crime'

    Geez, they are fed, watered, get access to TVs and a bed for the night at our expense, what more do they want?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suprised the BT Execs allow this

    When they all get sent to jail for the illegal Phorm trials, they will be thankful of the reduced rates

  16. Benny


    Don't let them have phones. There, now they can't complain it's too expensive.

  17. amanfromMars Silver badge

    dDeep Underground CyberIntelAIgents ...... Mars Core 4 Some, Venus Centre 2 Others

    Free Telecommunications... Free Inside Intelligence ..... Cleaner Networks for Beta Business Myth Methodology.

    And that's AI Beta and not just Promise Programming........ and that is quite enough for now. Hunger beckons Refreshment.

  18. Matt Brigden

    Oh dear poor sumbags

    Sorry but it looks like they are being made to pay in more ways than one .

    They broke the law so fair goes out the window in my book .

    Prison is a cushy number for most .If they want to make calls at the rates normal decent people do then try being one .

  19. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    I realise...

    ...that there'll be the standard frothing from the more Daily Fail-inclined readers, but good thing too. These exorbitant rates frequently have to be met by the prisoner's family who are often in dire financial circumstances themselves, and who haven't been convicted of any wrongdoing.

  20. Joel

    No surprise....

    They have a captive market!

    Mine's the one with the arrows on.....

  21. Pete

    Talk about a captive audience

    title says all

  22. Mike Crawshaw
    Paris Hilton

    Once Upon a Time...

    I'd have been less than sympathetic. Comments along the lines of "Oh Boo -hoo, poor likkle mites, oh no - it's a FRIKKIN' PRISON!!! Don't be a frikkin' criminal, and you won't be there, and you can phone who the frick you like!" would have appeared. I'd have made comparisons with the one in Arizona run by Joe Arpaio, etc etc.

    Unfortunately, with the way things are going, where people are criminalised for the most ridiculous of things, my perspective is changing. I might need cheap calls from prison sometime soon - after all, I have a camera in my mobile, and have been known to take pictures of Churches (I like the architecture), which obviously makes me a "terrywrist" and liable to be banged up for 6 weeks without even being told why...

    <---I'd bang Paris up....

  23. Liam

    hmmm 2


    didnt realise how many fascists we have in here. gotta admit im dissapointed. so much for the rehabilitation route eh.

    i dont know ANYONE who is better outside than inside. you lot really ought to stop reading the papers you know.

    remember is hospital you get to have visits. not just once a month so you need to keep in touch with family somehow! you are also not sent to hospitals 200 miles away just to fuck you up like the jail service do

    remember that you can now get sent down for the following henus crimes:

    :: not paying unfair council tax (i.e. how they manage to force payments from people who are unemployed or students)

    :: smoking 'killer' weed

    :: demonstrating peacefully

    now, i know that a lot of people in prison are baaad people, but there also pseudo political prisoners, such as those related to drug offences..

    having 20 pills on me got me 18months in a class A jail (rapists, paedos, murderers and psychos). this is all for a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol (read lancet reports et al) and kills less people a year in this country than peanuts do at xmas!

    so, not all people deserve to be killed or left to rot like you lot seem to think.

    oh, and according to you lot we should have killed off stephen fry and many other people we like than have been in clink

    dont worry... mine's flameproof

  24. Dave Harris
    Thumb Down


    I presume this also applies to remand prisoners, who have not actually been convicted. So how does the argument "if they don't like it they should have thought before they committed a crime" apply there?

  25. M

    Excuse me!....

    ....WTF is that the prisoner having moblie phone!

    Feck them! Take it away, they break the fecking law and then demand that they have right to ring Pizzahut for a 18" Pizza with hidden dope in it...


  26. Law
    Paris Hilton


    Boo freaking hoo..... seriously - they are prisoners, they should be thankful we let them have out-going phone calls.

    Why is anybody looking at this, and not the fact that the cost of a phone call in an NHS hospital (you know the ones, the nice phones by the bed).

    Those phones charged my bed-ridden mother £1 a minute for a local call, a woman who wasn't allowed to use a mobile in the hospital, leave her bed to use a pay phone, or use the desk phone either. When I asked her about it all - she said she had to top-up her bed with £10 for the TV to even work, and they charged her per day for that too, wonder if the prisoners get free tv too?

    Why don't we make the prisoners pay this scandalous amount to subsidise the cost of the NHS system, that way they can charge vulnerable, lonely, poor and often frightened patients a reasonable fee, something the criminals seem to be getting and complaining about. They had a choice, crime and prison, or not - NHS patients usually don't get to pick and choose whether they are stuck in hospital or not - so why are the prisoners getting the frills.

    Paris - because prison didn't seem to do her any harm.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bleeding heart

    Here's the news for the mouth breathers that NEED TO TYPE IN UPPER CASE !!

    Criminals with access to their families via phones are less likely to reoffend than those who don't.

    It also eases things a little for the families at home - unless you think it's ok to punish the children for the actions of their parents.

    If you want to break the cycle of offended for individuals and across generations then it's a simple and effective and cheap solution. Unless you're a BT shareholder.

  28. Liam

    @ pctechxp

    "As a Home Secretary once said 'if you don't want the time, don't do the crime'"

    yes, and our current home secretary has admitted breaking the law and doing things that she wants people to be jailed for... nice to see double standards eh!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @no sympathy

    I've been ripped off as much as the next person in my life, and certainly at the time, no fate was too awful for the a@@hole that did it. However, you treat people like animals and legally rip them off, then expect them to be happy, well-adjusted, and not commit any more crimes, after being f'd up the arse both literally and legally? I don't have the answer, but lumping everyone in the same group (repeat offenders with those that have just made a dumb decision) surely isn't the answer. What if it was your kid or spouse that landed in there? And please don't drag out the old tired line that if they were innocent, they wouldn't be in there. IMHO, you have to at least TRY to treat people like humans if you expect them to behave like humans.

  30. amanfromMars Silver badge

    @ no sympathy

    "Geez, they are fed, watered, get access to TVs and a bed for the night at our expense, what more do they want?"

    Sounds just like a zoo for captured animals and they're probably just as confused if their view of the world is confined by poor education and dull imagination. What the World Wide Web has to Offer may be Totally Alien to them Creating AI Virgin Market for Trainers in Virtualised Systems for Real Insider XXXXStreaming...... Perceptions Management and Mentoring.

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  31. Dan

    The responses are so predictable...

    Not everyone in prison is a monster. In fact, the vast majority of prisoners are ordinary people like you and me who did something stupid and are already being punished appropriately. We are all capable of commiting crimes. Why this need to label prisoners as "sub-human" and torture them?

    Anyhow, you are missing the point. The criticism is not only that prisoners are being treated unfairly, the criticism is that BT is making a big profit because it has been granted exclusive rights by the government to tap into a government-controlled resource.

    I say, bring the free market into prisons and allow all prisoners serving for minor offenses to own mobile phones.

  32. Gordon Pryra

    Screw the lags

    Why the hell should they get any perks?


    Burn them

  33. Rob Briggs

    You lot sound like a bunch of fascists

    What is prison supposed to be about? No, it's not primarily punishment (although that is a factor) it is supposed to be about reducing the level of crime in our communities. The most effective way to do this for those in criminal justice system is to help them to not re-offend. At the moment, the only tactic that is employed is that of deterrence - commit a crime, we'll catch you and lock you up. Clearly, this has already failed since they're in nick in the first place.

    Other countries within Europe have a completely different set of priorities, e.g. Sweden, The Netherlands, etc. Their focus is on reducing the re-offending rate through education, training, pyschological treatments, etc. The reasoning is that although it may cost upfront to provide these services, the cost to society overall is significantly lower because the costs of investigating, prosecuting and jailing criminals are so reduced.

    Don't believe me? Look at the crime figures for yourself.

  34. Eponymous Cowherd


    ***"i know i will get loads of daily hail readers moaning that all crims should be exterminated or locked in coffins and buried etc. but there are a lot od ok people inside who just made the odd mistake."***

    No there aren't. You don't get banged up for making 'the odd mistake'. You either have to commit a *serious* crime or be a repeat offender who has used up his 40 or so last chances.

  35. Tim Spence
    Paris Hilton


    As a crim, can you nominate 0800-REVERSE as one of your allowed numbers? :o)

    Paris, because she likes it in reverse. Or something.

  36. Liam


    @ M

    "....WTF is that the prisoner having moblie phone!"

    wtf? maybe you need remedial reading/writing course before getting on your high horse mate. i guess since almost everyone here speeds that we should all be locked up for breaking the law! remember just because someone is in jail and might be a bad guy, they also have families and kids (Often lots of kids). you need to allow dads to call their familes once a week! you lot really do sound like a bunch of nazis today!

    and btw - its smack inside not dope, to do with 28 days leaving your system over 2/3 days. the problem is we are CREATING heroine users in jail. not helping anyone!

    maybe we should be looking at why BT can put in a phone system in a jail a DAMN SITE cheaper than the ripoff hospital phone company can. i guess some labour cronies got their mates a good deal on that one eh! we shouldnt be penalising conns for hospitals ripping patients off.. thats totally unfair and completely unrelated!

    and btw - from my experience only a handful of jails let cons have TVs. most conns are locked up 23 hours a day and maybe get 4 hours/week of TV and being able to use the phone

  37. Richard Claunch
    IT Angle

    Think about IT!

    Pretty soon most of you will be serving 10 years in the slammer for sending that "I'm HOT for YOU Babe!" text to the wrong cell number! You'll piss and moan that you were innocent and rage against the unfair costs of just talking to your familiy AND lawyer trying to get you out and the rest of us will just say, "You did the CRIME, suffer the consequences!"

  38. Rob Briggs

    @Gordon Pryra

    To reply to your erudite and eloquent comment, a significant minority of people in jail are a) there on remand and have yet to be convicted of any crime and b) suffering from various forms of mental illness.

    Presumably if a mentally ill relative of yours was being held on remand after a false or misunderstood accusation, you'd want them burnt too?

  39. b

    some real charmers

    How cares what actually gets results in rehabilitation when you can just have a little wank over your own glorious self-righteousness...

  40. Liam

    @ Gordon 'pariah'

    wtf? twice weekly access to a phone, charged at 7 times what we pay is a perk?

    grow up you idiot

  41. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Who are they

    It is estimated that 1/3rd of the male population of Britain has been in clink for at least some time, even if it was just a day or so.

    I reckon there would be a lot more if there was room for them. And even at that there would only be those there that were too stupid not to get caught or too poorly connected not to get away with a fine or less.

    So let's have less of the us and them, Poleace.

    £2.50/day (in prison it cost 50p/day)

    Is that for the exclusive use of the telly or just shared access? At 50p a day the set would be paid for in what ....2 or 3 hundred days?

    So someone doing two years would pay twice for a set that was probably second hand in the first place?

    I don't know where the money for the entertainment goes in the NHS but it certainly isn't wasted on cleaning. When I was in there there were only two nurses on most of the day and a couple of Philippinos that had a different culture.

    I used to watch in amazement when the wards were cleaned. They would just wipe the spaces between the beds and that was it.

    It wouldn't have been so bad if they were the worst culprits. Some of the doctors are unbelievable.

    It was a good job that you needed to pretty near dead before you could get in. (I had to wait until my peritonitis ruptured through my stomach muscles -and even then, find my own way to hospital.)

  42. Eponymous Cowherd

    Re:hmmm 2

    ***"having 20 pills on me got me 18months in a class A jail "***

    Not telling the whole story here, are we?

  43. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Here's Why

    "Why the hell should they get any perks?" ..... By Gordon Pryra Posted Tuesday 24th June 2008 13:41 GMT

    Because they are dependencies. Their societies revolves around them.

  44. Jeffrey Nonken
    Thumb Down


    I'm astounded at the outpouring of human warmth and compassion here.

    "They're in there for a reason". Well, yes. What is that reason?

    "They committed a crime." Yeah. Anybody in prison must be guilty of something awful, because we all know the justice system never makes mistakes.

    But even so, ignoring that, there's something else that bothers me. Apparently you feel that once somebody is in prison, it's OK to treat them badly. Why? What's the purpose of their being there? Abuse? Vengeance? It's OK to torture prisoners because... it makes you feel good?

    Even if you manage to truly sort out those who have actually committed heinous crimes, if you abuse them just because you feel morally superior, then you become them. You lose your morally superior position the moment you treat them as you don't want them to treat you, and because you're also being a hypocrite, it actually brings you morally below their level.

    And if it's a man who was caught stealing in order to feed his starving family, which was starving because society failed them -- I'd have to say your moral position is somewhere below the bedrock.

    Calling them "criminals" is a nice neat way of labelling and dismissing them. Of dehumanizing them. Of lumping them all together as a single faceless entity that you can pretend is representative of some inferior life form.

    You know, just like racism, only you can feel proud of yourself for it.

    Each of those people has his or her own story, may or may not be there for a good reason, and probably is not the evil you pretend even if the reason is good.

    I could go on like this but I doubt anybody is listening who doesn't already agree. *sigh* Nobody ever learns who doesn't want to.

    Sometimes I despair of humanity, and it's not those locked in prison that I'm talking about.

  45. Chad H.

    arena you guys all missing one key thing

    didnt the article say crime with a good family support network are 6 times less likely to recommit?

    If the cost of lower crime and less crowded prisons is a few damn minutes of phone calls, I'm all for it. How could anyone not be?

  46. Mr Fuzzy

    To those who are saying "Sod 'em."

    Profiteering is profiteering. Why is it fine for any company to rip any consumer off?

  47. RW

    @ AC: "Prison is supposed to be difficult."

    You! There! Don't be so fucking vindictive! Just remember the old proverb "there but for the grace of God go I" and try to show some compassion and charity.

    [And that applies to the rest of you bloody minded jerks, too.]

    It really isn't clear to me or to anyone else who's spent at least five minutes mulling over the subject just what the point of imprisonment is. For a small fraction of the prisoners, getting them out of society so they can't rape murder and pillage again is a reasonable goal, but an awful lot of people go to jail for offenses they are most unlikely to commit a second time.

    Is jail intended to *punish*? And if so, why? Parents and teachers are hardly allowed to punish precious snowflakes these days, why should the state be allowed to punish malefactors? Especially when you can get thrown in the pokey for looking cross-eyed at a copper! Notice, btw, that corporate criminals generally get sent to country-club prisons: hardly a punishment!

    Is it intended to *reform*? There may be handwaving in that direction, but at best reform is given lip service -- and probably won't be effective anyway. And what about deliberate civil disobedience? You gonna reform Mr. Gandhi not to do "bad things" he did with full knowledge and intent? Not very bloody likely.


    I think Gilbert and Sullivan had it right: make the punishment fit the crime.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Re Hmmm et al

    I am so relieved to see some people still have some humanity left. When I was 'inside' for a while, I was the 'education orderly' (an ex-teacher) and one of my duties was to give a daily talk to all the new inmates. Some of those were totally bewildered, some were uninterested and some were pensioners who were unable (or unwilling) to pay the 'poll-tax' - usually 28 days and still owe the tax. Perhaps those hang 'em and flog 'em brigade might care to reflect on this last group's gross crimes?

    But then, as Jeffrey Nonken has pointed out, those who disagree with my, and a few others, viewpoint have probably already switched off.

    Fortunately, because of some good 'education' staff inside I developed my interest in computers and have now been an IT contractor for more than 13 years, working all over the world for some of the largest corporations so perhaps rehabilitation really can work.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons - 'STOP' sign for those that really ought to stop and think for a while before shouting off their mouths.

  49. Steve Roper


    - the responses from the readership, that is. All of you who have posted self-righteous remarks along the lines of "boo hoo" etc, know this: I have taken the names of everyone other than the gutless ACs who have made such pronouncements here. From here on, if I EVER see you post in here again about how your freedom is being taken away by stupid laws, I will serve it to you in spades of abuse. Fucking hypocrites.

  50. SImon Hobson

    @ Jeffrey Nonken

    Well put. What all the "shouldn't have broken the law - let them burn in hell" types seem to forget is that under Teflon Tony's rule (and Crash Gordon doesn't seem to have any intention of doing things differently) we now have many thousands more offenses on the statute book. In fact, there are now enough vague offences that you could probably pick up ANY member of the public and find something to charge them with ! Add to that the fact that many of these are written in such a way that the accused has to prove their innocence, and people should start to see the problem.

    Heck, I can think of a couple of offences I could be making just by writing this posting.

    The days of having to actually commit a crime AND the prosecution actually having to put forward evidence before sending you to prison are long gone.

  51. Chewy

    RE: Oh dear poor sumbags

    So you have first hand knowledge of prison if you believe it is cushy? Or did you read it in the Sun/Daily Mail?

    Isn't prison supposed to be about punishment AND rehabilitation? By allowing prisoners to have contact with their families it helps cut reoffending.

    And finally you should be in prison for your crimes against spelling :)

  52. Johnnyboy
    Paris Hilton

    I feel sorry for the remand prisoners...

    ... after all they are not guilty.

    Also perhaps the compensation for prisoners who are later found innocent should include all those calls they were overcharged on. Hmm Itemised billing for 25 years sounds interesting.

    Paris cos I bet she used her phone in nick.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Roper

    "- the responses from the readership, that is. All of you who have posted self-righteous remarks along the lines of "boo hoo" etc, know this: I have taken the names of everyone other than the gutless ACs who have made such pronouncements here. From here on, if I EVER see you post in here again about how your freedom is being taken away by stupid laws, I will serve it to you in spades of abuse. Fucking hypocrites."

    Mistake or not, people get put in prison for a reason. I object to the notion that they can call something 'unfair', when it is their own actions that landed them there.

    There is a big difference between freedoms taken away from law abiding citizens, and freedoms being taken away from criminals as a punishment or deterrent. So no, it wouldn't be hypocritical.

    Not that you will see me complaining about smoking bans, tougher alcohol restrictions or anything. Unless the law is clearly ridiculous and has no benefit, I am perfectly happy to live by the social contract, giving away some of my freedom in return for public services to protect and help me. You won't catch me whining on about my 'human right' to drink alcohol or smoke, because there is no such right.

    It's really simple. If you want to live with luxuries, and not get sent to prison and get them taken away, don't commit the crime. I don't have any sympathy for anyone in prison whining that they can't do what they want.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    haha nice try ex-con

    You won't make yourself look any better by claiming anyone criticising you must be a tabloid reader. How does that one work?? Who cares if you or any other criminal made a mistake that landed you in? Mistakes have consequences. Let me guess, you are talking about 'simple mistakes' like drunk driving?

    People in jail should only be allowed to phone their lawyers. No one else. Absolutely no one, ever. Children? Too bad. Dying mother? Too bad. It is supposed to be punishment. You can phone people when you get out. If you are in for something silly, you can phone your pals in a few days, or a month. So what exactly is the problem?

    " if you abuse them just because you feel morally superior, then you become them. "

    WRONG. First of all, (generally) no one is talking about ABUSING prisoners, they are talking about not making their life cushy. SECOND OF ALL, it is not comparable. A prisoner commited a crime. Asking for them to be punished for their wrong doings does not make that person cruel, it means they are believe in justice and vengeance. Once again, nice try.

    "because you're also being a hypocrite, it actually brings you morally below their level. " Haha. No. It doesn't. You wish. lol@BELOW their level. Eg: You are saying that someone being a hypocrite is LOWER than a cold-blooded murderer that raped and tortured an elderly woman, because they asked that the murderer be punished, or even harmed themselves? No no no.

    There are many people who believe in an eye for an eye, and asking that an offender gets something similar done to them does not make that person WORSE, it means they are sickened by bad behaviour and want rights taken away from the criminal since the criminal cruely disregarded their victims rights.

    It is really rich to hear someone who has took away anothers right to LIFE complaining about their right to be able to use a mobile phone!! Whilst being punished for taking away another persons right to use a mobile, to see their kids, to walk down the street, to love, to breathe, TO LIVE.

    "What is prison supposed to be about? No, it's not primarily punishment (although that is a factor) " And in what way are current prisoners being punished? Many of them have cosier lives than hard-working law-abiding citizens, and what for?

    " At the moment, the only tactic that is employed is that of deterrence - commit a crime, we'll catch you and lock you up. Clearly, this has already failed since they're in nick in the first place." They do offer counselling, education etc to prisoners and the locking up threat is not actually a deterrant at all! The reason they re-offend or OFFEND is because they're not punished properly for crimes, not in jail for long enough. Get TVs, computers, education, DRUGS etc in jail. A lot of the time, they don't even get put in jail at all, so you are wrong wrong wrong.

    Everyone has problems, but we don't all turn to crime. Why then, should the bottom of the barrel, those weak, cruel or 'oops! made a mistake' people get all manner of help, counselling, education, comforts, advice, expressive outlets, freedoms etc, and treated nicely and equal to (scratch that- BETTER than) law-abiding citizens? Those are things that most of the population can do with!! and the prisoner gets it all for free!!

    Apparently Liam doesn't realise that you can have a sound opinion even if you don't have the gift of perfect grammar or make a typo. I guess my comment will be ignored too then..? Oh and to bleeding heart AC, it is not any of us affecting the prisoner's family life, it is THEM, their direct actions caused the problem, and they ought to deal with it instead of being bailed out. If they do not get to speak to anyone maybe they will not be so blase about going back in, if they know they will be cut off from the world. Once again, they are making the choice, and treating their family like crap, without a thought for the problems they might cause should they get locked up.

    The prison system need not compensate for their bad decisions.

  55. pctechxp


    Sorry pal but you are having a laugh, you mean you got PAID too!!!

    I have to agree with a couple of the posters, scumbag inmates should not have access to anything.

    You get no sympathy, us law abiding have to pay ever increasing mortgages, gas, electricity, council tax.

    From what has been reveraled in the media and what you've said, it sounds like a bloody holiday camp!

  56. Matt Cheney
    Thumb Down


    Ditto the comments "they're in prison, folks"! Prison shouldn't be fun. Supportive family members can arrange visits or incoming calls. Prisoners should be put to work with no time for placing calls (or watching TV, browsing the Internet, lifting weights, studying law books, etc).

  57. pctechxp

    @ Dave Harris

    Sorry, but you don't get put on remand for no reason so the same rules should apply.

    As regards out current home secretary, yes indeed, lock her up if she has broken the law.

    As regards ripping them off, no sympathy, however, I find it disgraceful that Patientline can legally rip off the sick/dying along with their relatives, you dont have a choice about being in hospital, you have a choice about breaking the law, if you don't like a law e.g. the poll tax, you can complain to your MP or make the government pay at the ballot box

    And the useless argument about lack of education that gets trotted out again and again is rubbish, you can tell right from wrong.

    Increase the phone charges for prisoners, reduce them for patients and the rest of us, if prison returns to being a proper deterrent then crime will fall and we'll all be safer.

  58. Simon

    Captive audience?

    Yes, this is what they call "taking advantage".

  59. Tom Thomson

    Idiots. Irresponsible lunatics. Offenders against all human decency.

    The three phrases in the title are a pretty fair description of the authors of most of the comments above. Certainly pctechxp with his "you don't get put on remand for no reason so the same rules should apply" must be a bloody fool - maybe he's so bloody mindedly ignorant that he thinks the conviction rate of prisoners on remand is 100%? Has he been living in a different world - we know from well-publicised cases that we actually convict some completely innocent people of serious crimes, let alone remand them. I imagine most of the population of our prisons are less offensive to human decency than the Anonymous Coward who wrote "People in jail should only be allowed to phone their lawyers. No one else. Absolutely no one, ever. Children? Too bad. Dying mother? Too bad." - great, let's ensure that the whole family concludes that society is a bunch of vindictive shits so you can stuff your social contract- actually on the majority of comments here someone who reached that conclusion might well be right! It's quite clear that most of you are too damned thick to see that reducing the re-offending rate is more useful than gratifying a desire to behave as a vicious vengeance-oriented vigilante

    If you lot are a representative sample of the human race, I'm ashamed to be a member of it.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    " Disgusting By Steve Roper Posted Wednesday 25th June 2008 05:57 GMT

    All of you who have posted self-righteous remarks along the lines of "boo hoo" etc, know this: I have taken the names of everyone other than the gutless ACs who have made such pronouncements here. From here on, if I EVER see you post in here again about how your freedom is being taken away by stupid laws, I will serve it to you in spades of abuse. Fucking hypocrites. "

    Wow. Your intense anger concerning this, complete with threats and a plan to keep tabs on everyone because they hurt your feelings really says something about the kind of person you are. Guess prison didn't work in getting you sorted out?

    You certainly sound like the typical criminal who has broken the law yet thinks (law-abiding) people owe them something.. everything..

    You also have a really weak argument because if we go by your thinking then realistically no-one could complain about anything ever, because there would always be someone worse off than them.

    EG: why are you complaining about UK jails when there are a lot worse ones in other countries? Why are any of us complaining about things like our new expensive sofa arriving with a big tear in it, when some people do not have a house, or running water, let alone a sofa to arrive at their house torn??

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