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The prisoner

That in-cell television sets help to reduce violence-Michael Howard wants them banned

By Peter Wayne   June 1996

A VIP inspection of one of Her Majesty’s prisons resembles the royal progress of a Stuart king. I remember such a visitation made some years ago to Albany prison on the Isle of Wight (where I was serving a sentence) by the then Home Office minister, Lord Caithness. When our wing was selected to receive the belted earl, frenzied preparations got under way.

For a week prior to his arrival, prisoners were hectored into painting walls, burnishing pipes and chamois-leathering windows. The litter-and-shit-strewn inner quadrangle was picked clean of the accumulated detritus of the previous year. One enterprising principal officer…

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