Taxpayers forking out as inmates smash TVs
TAXPAYERS are footing the bill for a new television in Queensland prisons every four hours as inmates smash them up at an alarming rate.
New figures obtained by the Townsville Bulletin under Right to Information reveal 2404 TVs were replaced in the past year, costing over $ 300,000, with $ 15,000 in repair costs.
Prisoners who opt to pay the $ 2- a- week fee to have a TV in their cell are lavished with new release movies, with some corrections facilities running two 24- hour movie channels for them to watch.
Corrections sources said many TV sets were destroyed by inmates who smashed them against the walls, trying to get sharp items for self harm.
Anyone caught damaging their TV set can be issued with a breach notice inside the prison, however sources revealed prisoners often have a new set back in their cell within days.
A spokesman for Queensland Correction Services said the cost of replacing new TVs was taken out of a fund created by the $ 2- a- week rental fees, despite all inmates receiving a weekly allowance of around $ 10 a week from the State Government.
“Prisoners in custody in Queensland may rent a television at a cost of $ 2 per week. The televisions are located in their cell,” he said.
“Televisions are purchased in bulk by QCS, from the prisoner amenities fund, at a cost of approximately $ 195 per unit.
“Prisoner access to television is a privilege. If a prisoner causes deliberate damage to a television they may be charged with an offence.”