Prisoners Must Earn Right To TV And Perks Prisoners will be made to earn perks such as televisions in their cells and the ability to wear their own clothes in a new Government clampdown. Violent and sexually explicit 18-rated movies will also be banned from jails in England and Wales under changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme. The current scheme allows inmates to get privileges - such as a television set in their cell and full gym access - for the avoidance of bad behaviour. But the Government wants inmates to take part in work and education programmes to earn the perks instead. Justice secretary Chris Grayling said: "It is not right that some prisoners appear to be spending hours languishing in their cells and watching daytime television, while the rest of the country goes out to work. "For too long there has been an expectation that privileges are an automatic right, given as a reward for staying out of trouble. This cannot continue. "There will be a new entry level for all prisoners in the first two weeks of sentence where perks, including private cash will be restricted. "All male prisoners will be made to wear prison uniform while on entry level. Regulations for women prisoners are under review. "All prisoners could find themselves working a longer day and will not be allowed to watch television when they should be working." Mr Grayling added: "Only by tackling bad behaviour and taking part in education or work programmes as well as addressing any alcohol or drug issues can we cut reoffending." The changes will see subscription channels removed from private prisons and inmates will have to earn the right to wear their own clothes. The scheme allows prisoners to work up specific levels of privileges through good behaviour and, in turn, lose perks if they do not reach the appropriate standards. Other major changes include a new privileges level - called entry - for prisoners in their first two weeks of sentence where perks including access to private cash will be restricted. At the end of this period, inmates who have not co-operated with the regime will drop to basic level while those who do will progress to standard. All male prisoners will have to wear a uniform when they are on entry levels. Prison regimes are also to change so that inmates work a longer day and will not be allowed to watch television when they should be working. Ben Gunn, who served 32 years for murder, dismissed the idea that prisoners live a pampered life as "absurd" and warned the changes could lead to riots. He told Sky News: "They will be harmful, expensive, they will possibly increase suicide rates and possibly prison disturbances and they won't reduce crime one bit. "The privileges that Mr Grayling wants to remove are ones that prisoners have earned by complying with certain behavioural standards. They complied with a deal. "Now Mr Grayling is waking up and on a political whim, coming into their cells and taking them away. "That is deeply deeply unfair and that will be felt as unjust by prisoners and when prisoners feel unjustly dealt with, many responses can follow from that - not all of them pleasant." Frances Crook, from the penal reform group the Howard League, also disagrees with the changes. She says: "There have been numerous inspectorate reports published recently which have found prisons struggling to offer any purposeful activity within their walls, this problem will only get worse. "It is bizarre then to introduce new layers of red tape which will only add to the cost of prison and demands on staff time." --------------------------------------- How long til the uman rights fraternity starts yelling ?