The Prison Service is cracking down on prisoners who make abusive phone calls, and use phonecards illegally as currency, with a massive programme to upgrade phones
It will spend #100 million over the next 10 years installing PIN number operated payphones in UK prisons, replacing the existing phonecard phones.
By allocating each prisoner a PIN number that must be dialled before each call, the prison can check whether the prisoner is allowed to call the requested number at that particular time, and whether the prisoner has the funds to cover the call charge.
People called by prisoners can use their touch-tone phone to chose whether to accept or refuse incoming calls, and if necessary bar future calls from particular prisoners.
The new system will give the Prison Service greater control over the illicit use of phones in prison, and enable better protection for the public, said Home Office minister George Howarth.
"PIN phones should also reduce bullying within prisons by removing the need for phonecards which can circulate as currency," he added.
Over 2,500 phones will be installed in 132 prisons in England and Wales.
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