The prison service is set to end a 50-year-old tradition of distributing free newspapers to prisoners. Reformers describe the move as penny pinching at a time when illiteracy rates among prisoners are soaring. One governor said yesterday that it was essential that the service should continue.

A prison service instruction. (PSI) gives governors the discretion to abolish an order which allows one free newspaper to be shared by ten prisoners each day.
It describes the change in policy as the "result of a money saving proposal from a member of staff" and as "reflecting the increasing availability of in-cell television as a source of information".

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