British jails give prisoners privacy locks

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LONDON, March 26 (UPI) -- Thousands of prisoners in British prisons have keys to their own cells, a published report said Monday.

Inquiries into the prison system showed that inmates are given "privacy locks" in order to give them personal space and protect their belongings, The Sun reported.


The system was revealed after requests, under the freedom of information laws, were granted and critics accused jailers of "turning prisons into hotels."

"This will horrify people and reinforce the view that the regime in prisons is far too lax and cushy," said the Metropolitan Police's Tory Philip Davies.

It was also revealed that in some British jails, inmates are referred to as "residents" or "trainees."

In Yorkshire, the Sun said about 5,747 inmates have keys to their own cells, but a Prison Service spokesman stressed that the keys could be overridden by staff.

Prisons Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said that the new system was in the best interests of inmates' rehabilitation and "decency."

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