Prison inmates have taken beekeeping classes and learned how to play chess behind bars, The Sun was able to reveal on Sunday.
Lags also received taxpayer-funded singing lessons and “therapeutic arts sessions” as part of their prison rehab.
An examination of the Department of Justice contracts shows how the huge prison budget is being spent, with huge bills for courses and activities.
Almost £3,000 has been spent setting up a beekeeping course at HMP Leeds for ten inmates.
They took care of the beehives on the site with protective measuresto collect honey for the prison kitchens.
The work was supported by the British Beekeepers Association.
In another deal, the charity Chess in Schools and Communities received £4,500 a year to teach young offenders the game at the HMPin Greenwich, South London.
At Deerbolt Prison in County Durham, a £91,000 project was awarded to a company to provide a music program to ‘encourage positive engagement and motivation through creativity’.
Beating Time – a group that organizes prison choirs – was awarded £36,000 to run singing groups at HMP Gartree in Leicestershire and HMP Swinfen Hall in Staffordshire.
Contracts disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act show cash was also spent on in-cell kettles and shop sewing machines.
David Spencer, director of research at the Center for Crime Prevention, said: “Law-abiding people, many of whom are victims of crime, do not pay their taxes to allow convicted criminals to learn to play chess, sing, or express their creativity.”