From the Telegraph.... A discount scheme has been introduced to make it cheaper for convicted criminals to call friends and family from jail using BT services. Crime victim groups have criticised the plan, which includes maximum security prisons and centres for young offenders. Notice of the scheme was given to staff and 360 inmates in a leaked internal memo from Castington young offenders' instutation, near Morpeth, Northumberland. Matthew Spencer, governor at Castington, wrote: "We were notified by BT about the reduced rate calls. A discount has been made on the cost of calls for trainees [youth detainees] by two pence per minute for calls made to landlines and mobiles in Britain. "The special offer ends on Monday, April 4. We have no idea why BT made the offer." He explained that said the young offenders, aged from 15 to 21, had access to phones for use with PIN numbers and calls were restricted to friends and families. "The trainees have a small phone credit allowance each week and this just saves them a little more credit," he said. David Hines, chairman of the North of England Victims' Association said: "This is a disgrace. Why should prisoners be given any reduction in phone payments? The whole thing stinks. "How would other BT bill payers feel, never mind the families of victims who have suffered at the hands of those convicted?" Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, a Government adviser on law and order issues and former police superintendent, felt the move raised concerns. He said: "I wouldn't have thought prisoners had priority for BT to give away discounts. "I would hope there are more deserving causes for reduced phone bill rates, including serving armed forces' families, pensioners and others." Lord Mackenzie added: "It is not unheard of for prisoners to make calls to victims and their families or to organise further crimes from inside." A BT spokesman said: "The discount scheme was offered by BT to all Home Office prisons with PIN phone facilities. "The discount offer is for a reduction from 11p per minute to 9p and it started on Jan 5, running to April 5. "We don't know if this is a one-off or if there will be further schemes," added the spokesman. This really boils my urine. However, Lord Mackenzie is officially a Top Bloke in my Big Book of Top Blokes.