Inmates also get “activity packs” and free mobiles to call relatives while visits are cancelled during the virus crisis.
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Some are even trialling Skype-style video calls.
Work, education, gym, chapel and library visits are all banned to curb the spread of the disease.
One source said: “Prisoners are only being let out for a maximum of an hour a day to do some exercise.
“The rest of the time they are locked up in their cells.
“Many are going up the wall.
“Not least because they can’t get their hands on spice and other drugs.
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“The longer the lockdown goes on the more fiery the atmosphere is likely to become.
“It is a real powder keg right now.”
The Prison Officers’ Association lobbied the Government to bring in the lockdown and has welcomed its introduction.
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