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Prisons minister Jeremy Wright has told Daybreak that it is right for people to expect prisoners to avoid bad behaviour in prison.
Former inmate Ben Gunn spent more than 30 years in prison, speaking to Daybreak he asked whether the Government's plans would reduce crime or "be vicious to prisoners for no particular reason?"
He said: "If we have money to spend on uniforms for the first two weeks that's 85,000 uniforms, that's not cheap, why not invest that money in work, and training, or education?"
Sally Knox's son Rob died in 2008, when he was stabbed to death in a fight outside the Metro Bar in Sidcup, south-east London.
Speaking to Daybreak about the Government's plans to reward inmates on merit she said prisoners should be "should be spending more time in their cell thinking about what they did, and the other thing is there needs to be more education and training."
She added: "What are we achieving by giving prisoners satellite TV to behave?"
Male prisoners in England and Wales will face tougher conditions in future, as the Justice Secretary unveils sweeping changes to the system of privileges that operates in all prisons.
Under the changes, inmates will have to work longer hours and actively earn privileges, such as access to TV and gymns.
Daybreak's Jonathan Swain reports.
The head of the Howard League for Penal Reform charity has said she thinks it is unlikely that today's reforms to the system of prison privileges will "get prisoners out of bed and into work or training".
These are the main changes that will be implemented across all prisons in the UK:
- Movement up the levels will depend on "positive engagement" - not the absence of bad behaviour
- A new 'entry' level for all new prisoners
- All convicted prisoners will work a longer day
- Ban on watching TV while prisoners should be working
- Gym access beyond the statutory entitlement will be dependent on active engagement with rehabilitation
- Subscription channels removed from private prisons
- Certificate 18 DVDs banned from prisons
Source: Ministry of Justice
The Incentives and Earned Privileges system determines which prisoners are entitled to privileges such as extra visits, the ability to earn more money in prison jobs and access to in-cell TV.
Under the current system, there are three levels: 'basic', 'standard' and 'enhanced. Each level has certain associated perks which are set by individual prisons but are broadly the same.
Prisoners currently start on 'standard' and may lose or gain a status based on their behaviour.
Prisoners will have to "earn the right" to certain privileges behind bars under new plans being unveiled by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today.
The new measures will include bans on 18-rated films and subscription channels as well as a new "entry" level for all new prisoners.
The changes will be written into the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme, which operates in all prisons, over the next six months.
Mr Grayling said that "for too long, there has been an expectation that privileges are an automatic right, given simply as a reward for staying out of trouble".
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The Justice Secretary is to unveil changes to the system of privileges in jail with the aim of ensuring that perks are actively earned.