Prisoners serving life sentences should be allowed phones in their cells to prevent them becoming institutionalised.
That’s just one of the recommendations included in an internal report seen by The Irish Times.
It also recommends video call facilities, like Skype, so prisoners can keep in touch with loved ones abroad and the expansion of ‘Independent Living Skills Units’.
9 percent of prisoners in Ireland are serving life sentences, one of the highest rates in Europe.
CEO of the Irish Penal Reform Trust Deirdre Malone says phones in cells would help prisoners to cope when they’re released: 'Institutionalisation is a huge issue. If someone is serving up to 25 years, that has an enormous impact on that person's ability to socialise. People become totally out of touch of what's going on in the outside world'.