British Airways and four other companies are to "twin" with jails in a revolutionary scheme to inject private sector skills and experience into the Prison Service.

Rod Eddington, the BA chief executive, said he had felt compelled to act after being shocked by a visit to Feltham prison and young offenders institute near Heathrow. "Unless large organisations like ours are prepared to help its difficult to see how people in prisons who want to build conventional lives can do so."

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