Justice Secretary David Gauke calls for prisoners to be given phones in cells

Posted On: 
9th September 2018

Prisoners should be given access to phones in their cells in a bid to improve behaviour, the Justice Secretary has said.

Justice Secretary David Gauke will launch the Government's new victims strategy this week

In an interview with the Telegraph, David Gauke said the move could be a “real game changer” in reducing reoffending rates.

He told the paper: "All the evidence is pointing towards in-cell telephony helping, so its wider use, I think, makes a lot of sense…

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“I was in Germany on Monday and I visited a prison there and they have incell telephony very widely and they have exactly the same experience.

"They find where you bring it in, it improves behaviour.”

Inmates provided with phones would would only be able to call a small number of pre-approved numbers and would foot the bill themselves.

The move would give prisoners the opportunity to speak regularly with friends and family and is designed to reduce the use of illicit mobile devices.  

Mr Gauke added: “Prisoners have got access to a limited number of phones on their landing but they can only [make calls] when they’re out of their cell.

“That means there are long periods of time when they don’t have access to a phone, they don’t have the same degree of privacy from other prisoners, and very often it can be a source of friction …”

“The message that I hear time and time again from prison governors and prison officers is that can be a real game changer.”

The move comes as the Government prepares to publish a new victims strategy tomorrow.