Fight club: prisoners paid to attend anger management classes

October 7, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Prisoners are being paid thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash every day – to attend ANGER management sessions.

Inmates at Bullingdon Prison, near Bicester, Oxon, coin in £5 each for every hour-long session they attend.

The ‘pay-as-you-go’ reward scheme – the first of its kind in the country – was introduced at the category C prison by governor Andy Lattimore.

The 1,000 inmates, including murderers, paedophiles and robbers, can earn up to £100 a WEEK if they sign up to various courses on offer – which could cost the taxpayer a staggering £5.2million every year.

Yesterday taxpayers and prison officers expressed outrage at the scheme, branding it ”absolutely appalling”.

Glyn Travis, spokesman for the Prison Officers’ Association, said: ”The prison officers in Bullingdon are incensed.

”They went to senior officers in the prison and asked them to rescind it, but were refused. The staff were very angry.

”It’s absolutely appalling.

”As far as we are aware, it is the only place to go out and do this as a means of getting people on to these courses, which they have got to attend anyway to get released.”

Inmates are already compelled to attend anger management and rehabilitation classes to secure early release, but it is the first time prisoners have been paid to attend.

The prisoners perk comes at the same time the Ministry of Justice announced it could slash 15,000 prison staff jobs in a bid to save £2billion from its £9billion budget.

Mr Travis added: ”Prisoners seem to be exempt from the cuts.

”They are getting privileges that are deemed to be cushy, while prison staff are facing more dangerous prisons because of budget cuts.”

The idea was launched last Thursday in a bid to improve prisoners’ behaviour.

Prison Service spokesman Georgina Mear said: ”Under prison rules, convicted prisoners are required to work and are encouraged to participate in education and to attend courses designed to address their offending behaviour.

”Those who refuse to work do not receive any pay.”

She added that paying prisoners encouraged them to lead a stable life, get a job, and avoid re-offending on release.

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