Prisoners should have access to computers and the internet to help with re-integration into society and reduce re-offending once they are released, according to research.
Controlled use of the web can also transform education, family contact and resettlement in jails, the joint Prison Reform Trust and Prisoners Education Trust report said.
It examines the use of information and communication technology in prisons and its potential as a tool for rehabilitation. The report is based on a survey of jails sent to all prison governors and directors in England and Wales supported by the National Offender Management Service.
In the foreword to the document, Nick Hardwick, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, wrote: “We can’t go on with prisons in a pre-internet dark age: inefficient, wasteful and leaving prisoners woefully unprepared for the real world they will face on release.
“I have not met one prison professional who does not think drastic change is needed.”