Welsh prisoners claim Sky Sports as human right

September 29, 2011 11:00 AM

Prisoners in Wales are alleging their human rights have been violated - not due to vermin or filth, but because they only have access to Sky Sports 1. That’s right, this week it was publicised that a group of Welsh prisoners are threatening legal action if Sky Sports 2 and 3 aren’t added to their sets. Apparently merely watching one subscription sports channel - in the privacy of their own cell I might add - is no longer a good enough treat for 'good behaviour'.

Good behaviour or not, the notion that taxpayers ought to pay for premium TV in prisons is absolute insanity. The fact that these prisoners assert a refusal to do so as a 'violation of human rights' confirms the notion that perhaps they should watch less sport, and spend more time reading up on the world around them.

Prisoners should be reminded that their time in jail is not about luxury at the taxpayers' expense, but reflection and rehabilitation. At a time when most households are looking for savings, there are no doubt many law-abiding families whose budgets do not stretch to premium sports packages (mine certainly does not). What then makes prisoners think they should get it at taxpayers' expense?

And if paying for Sky wasn’t enough, if this ludicrous request makes its way to court it will be taxpayers who foot the legal bills too. I am all behind people sticking up for genuine human rights, but to say Sky TV falls into that  category is twisting the definition beyond all recognition.

According to Wales Online, the cost of a Sky Sports One package in a prison costs approximately £100 per month already - that’s £1,200 per year for one prison. The full Sky Sports package would cost an extra £78 per month, bringing the total to about £2,100 a year for each facility!

Clearly prisoners are getting too comfortable with their lives inside and have lost sight of what the purpose of jail time is to begin with if they think a Sky subscription is a right worth fighting for. Conservative MP David Davies has echoed similar sentiments in the media this week, claiming “it beggars belief they are complaining about this...”

Beggars belief indeed! These Welsh prisoners should quit their belly aching and consider themselves lucky to have TV privileges at all. The focus should be on more constructive activities that use inmates' time to educate them or teach them a new skill that will be useful to them once they are released (charities like Fine Cell Work offer excellent opportunities for prisoners to learn). Sitting in a cell watching the footie at taxpayers' expense ticks none of these boxes.

Emma Boon also discussed this on BBC Radio Humberside yesterday, you can listen to the interview below:

Prisoners in Wales are alleging their human rights have been violated - not due to vermin or filth, but because they only have access to Sky Sports 1. That’s right, this week it was publicised that a group of Welsh prisoners are threatening legal action if Sky Sports 2 and 3 aren’t added to their sets. Apparently merely watching one subscription sports channel - in the privacy of their own cell I might add - is no longer a good enough treat for 'good behaviour'.

Good behaviour or not, the notion that taxpayers ought to pay for premium TV in prisons is absolute insanity. The fact that these prisoners assert a refusal to do so as a 'violation of human rights' confirms the notion that perhaps they should watch less sport, and spend more time reading up on the world around them.

Prisoners should be reminded that their time in jail is not about luxury at the taxpayers' expense, but reflection and rehabilitation. At a time when most households are looking for savings, there are no doubt many law-abiding families whose budgets do not stretch to premium sports packages (mine certainly does not). What then makes prisoners think they should get it at taxpayers' expense?

And if paying for Sky wasn’t enough, if this ludicrous request makes its way to court it will be taxpayers who foot the legal bills too. I am all behind people sticking up for genuine human rights, but to say Sky TV falls into that  category is twisting the definition beyond all recognition.

According to Wales Online, the cost of a Sky Sports One package in a prison costs approximately £100 per month already - that’s £1,200 per year for one prison. The full Sky Sports package would cost an extra £78 per month, bringing the total to about £2,100 a year for each facility!

Clearly prisoners are getting too comfortable with their lives inside and have lost sight of what the purpose of jail time is to begin with if they think a Sky subscription is a right worth fighting for. Conservative MP David Davies has echoed similar sentiments in the media this week, claiming “it beggars belief they are complaining about this...”

Beggars belief indeed! These Welsh prisoners should quit their belly aching and consider themselves lucky to have TV privileges at all. The focus should be on more constructive activities that use inmates' time to educate them or teach them a new skill that will be useful to them once they are released (charities like Fine Cell Work offer excellent opportunities for prisoners to learn). Sitting in a cell watching the footie at taxpayers' expense ticks none of these boxes.

Emma Boon also discussed this on BBC Radio Humberside yesterday, you can listen to the interview below:

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Aid spending needs to be more transparent

4:55 PM 08, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price