Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Inmates given satellite TV access

Altcourse Prison
The prison was opened in 1997 and has 1,324 inmates

Prisoners at a privately-run prison in Liverpool are being allowed to watch satellite television.

Inmates at Altcourse Prison in Fazakerley are allowed access to a limited number of channels as a reward for good behaviour.

Operated by international security firm G4S, about 400 out of 1300 prisoners are given the privilege.

It is only available to those on the enhanced level of an earned privilege scheme, G4S said.

Justice Minister and Garston MP Maria Eagle said that inmates in public sector prisons, such as Walton, do not have access in their quarters.

Altcourse, a category B prison, serves the court areas of Merseyside, Cheshire and north Wales.

Opened in 1997, it accommodates 1,324 prisoners in seven house blocks.

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