Prisoners get cash for PS2s
Victims' groups in uproar.
A big fat row has broken out over the discovery that prison inmates have received compensation of around £200 each after their PlayStation 2 consoles were confiscated.
Last month, warders at the maximum security Wakefield Prison found that some inmates, including sex offenders, were using their PS2s to watch pornographic DVDs.
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh demanded that authorities at the prison, which houses Roy Whiting and Ian Huntley, implement tougher controls to clamp down on the viewing of pornography.
Following the discovery, prisoners were banned from having the consoles in their cells - and nine of those who had their PS2s taken away received a total of £1800 in compensation. The Prison Service argued that this was simply a case of refunding the men, who purchased the PS2s with their own money.
It's thought that a failure to offer compensation could have been seen as a breach of human rights - and that the threat of legal action may have influenced the decision.
The move has been strongly condemned by local politicians and victims' groups. Norman Brennan, chairman of the Victim of Crime Trust, told the Yorkshire Post that it made "a mockery of the whole criminal justice system."
Creagh said she also disagreed with the decision, on the grounds that prisoners "have forfeited the right to free enjoyment and possession of PlayStations by using them in this way."
A spokesperson for the Prison Service said: "The prisoners were not given compensation, but were refunded for their PlayStations."