HMP Peterborough allows phone in cells

HMP Peterborough
HMP Peterborough

A new national £10 million scheme to bring more phones into prison cells will not affect HMP Peterborough - because the privately run jail already has telephones in cells.

The Ministry of Justice announced the scheme last week, with the aim of reducing re-offending by maintaining family ties.

Around 20 prisons - including HMP Peterborough, which is run by Sodexo, currently have cells with phones in.

All calls on in-cell phones are recorded and can only be made to a small number of pre-approved numbers. In the event that they are suspected of being used for criminal activity, calls can be monitored, and governors have the power to remove the phones of those who have misused them.

As well as helping prisoners connect with their families, the phones also give them easier access to support services such as the Samaritans and MIND, therefore reducing their risk of self-harm – another major challenge for jails.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “In-cell telephones provide a crucial means of allowing prisoners to build and maintain family relationships, something we know is fundamental to their rehabilitation. Introducing them to more prisons is a recognition of the contribution I believe in-cell telephones make to turning prisons into places of decency where offenders have a real chance to transform their lives.”