Inside Britain’s newest prison – where lags can play five-aside footie, table tennis and do Wordle in their rooms

An inmate uses a construction simulator during the official opening of HMP Fosse Way, the new Category C prison in Leicester. Picture date: Thursday June 29, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story PRISONS Fosse. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

LAGS will be able to play five-aside footie and do Wordle on computers in their own rooms in a plush new jail formally opening today.

Prisoners approaching the end of their sentences will be transferred to swanky new HMP Fosse Way where they will get far more freedoms in a bid to prepare them for life on the outside.

An inmate using a £100k state-of-the-art simulator to train in how to use a forklift truck

They can use the plush new football pitches in their spare time

Wings include table tennis tables

Lags will get access to computers in their own rooms where they can play games and apply for jobs

The new jail features five-aside football pitches, table tennis areas and other recreational activities.

And some lags will get their own computers in their rooms where they can apply for jobs, play games, listen to approved Podcasts and check the weather.

Guards will monitor communications – but they will be allowed to send messages to friends and family on their own devices, which can double up as a telly too.

They will also be able to bring their own games consoles in – but it won’t be connected to the Internet.

More apps can be added to their internal systems which may soon let criminals check the sports scores for their teams.

In their spare time they will be allowed out of cells into specialist labs to help them learn new skills to hold down a job on the outside.

There is a plush studio for them to learn music technical skills, how to make and repair spectacles, and a £100k digger simulation to learn how to handle a forklift truck or drive HGVs.

Ministers hope the swanky premises will help to slash reoffending rates – with lags who have a job when they get out far less likely to offend again.

And they hope it will drive down the staggering £18billion reoffending bill as so many return to a life of crime again.

Insiders stressed the jails were far cheaper to run and staff than old Victorian ones which are creaking.

And they are modelled on similar programmes in the USA which have been proven to work.

The new jails were even built by prisoners themselves – some of the first ever to do so.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk insisted it was worth the money – and that prison was still a punishment.

New workshops will teach them skills to get jobs on the ouside

Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk attends the official opening of HMP Fosse Way in Leicester

He said: “It is right that when people get out they don’t slip back into their old lives.

“I have been satisfied that these are earned privileges, and prisoners must face the consequences of what they have done.

“There is a cost to it, but there is a far greater cost, and the far greater cost comes from reoffending or indeed of people going free or avoiding the consequences of their actions.

“There are prisoners who are literally going to be building the concrete foundations for other prison house blocks. 

“We think that there is a certain justice about that.”

Any perks can be swiftly removed if an inmate misbehaves, and return to spending 18 hours a day locked inside their cells.

And the lags there now – with a total of 1,715 due by March – are already working to build lights and other construction for another prison in Yorkshire.

Only category C prisoners who have less than two years to serve will be moved there, with most spending an average of just eight months.

The outside of the new prison in Leicester, which will hold up to 1700 people by March

The library in mates can check out books on how to cook Jamie Oliver and Ottolenghi recipes

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