The Ministry of Justice has announced that all prisoners in England and Wales are to be given free supplies of odour neutralisers, because it is against their human rights to suffer toilet pongs.
It comes after Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons completed its review of
prisoner living standards in multiple-occupancy accommodation.
The report, titled Prisoner Odour Observations 2013, states: "Approximately 83% of prisoners reported that odorous toilet excretions were hampering their ability to relax. 11% said they were indifferent to the smells and 6% reported enjoying them."
According to a leak in Whitehall, a deal has been struck with Ambi-pur to supply every cell in the country with special cans made from plastic-coated cardboard, to avoid them being used as deadly weapons.
In 2006, convict Mitchell Brown, was bludgeoned to death with a can of Coastal Escape.
Prison reform charities are hailing the initiative as a great step forward for prison living standards but critics say the move is a ridiculous waste of public money. Graham Terde of the Taxpayer's Alliance said: "At a time when government departments are supposed to be slashing budgets and elderly pensioners are expected to buy their own deodorisers, how can ministers justify this ridiculous waste of public money?"
Liam Walker, who is serving a six year sentence in Broadmoor for camping with intent, told Converse, the prisoner's newspaper, that he had suffered three years of putrid smells and fireballs, whilst sharing his cell with an arsonist with irritable bowel syndrome. He said: "This is great news. It's tough living so close to another guy, especially when the canteen is serving stuff like cabbage. On Sundays this place is like a massive Dutch oven."
Meanwhile, the Shadow Lord Chancellor has criticised the government, claiming that the hefty report - which has been released by Whitehall in short sections - has left a stain on the reputation of the Secretary of State for Justice. "This shows the shocking state of our hopelessly blocked up prisons system." He said. "This report stinks and I'm sure Chris Grayling would like to distance himself from it but he cannot wash his hands of this one". The Justice Secretary declined to comment but his office rejected the criticism as a smear.