The Dutch prison service is planning to replace televisions and prison libraries with tablet computers, the AD reports on Tuesday.
The paper says the service aims to provide thousands of prisoners with a tablet so they can watch television, follow courses and buy essentials from their own cells.
The move is part of efforts to get prisoners to take more responsibility for themselves, a justice ministry spokesman told the AD.
‘It is becoming increasingly important to be able to take care of yourself,’ the spokesman said. ‘We want to impress that on prisoners as well, so they can organise their own visits and buy their own supplies.’
Prisoners will not have free access to the internet and will only be able to use approved websites, he said.
Union spokesman Frans Corbo told the AD the move is simply about saving money. ‘Tablets are cheaper than staff, so you can do the sums. Closing the libraries and other provisions reduces the contact between staff and inmates and that is not good for safety,’ he said.
The cost and start date of the project has not yet been decided, broadcaster Nos says.
‘The order is ready and will be sent out soon. We don’t yet know what brand of tablet is being ordered,’ Zutphen prison director Ruut Bernsen told the AD.
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