Skype introduced in Polish prisons
PR dla Zagranicy
Prisoners across Poland can now use video chat internet service Skype as a means of maintaining contact with family members.
The novelty follows a pilot programme that was conducted in several Polish prisons in April and May.
“Nowadays, communication via the internet is not a luxury but a standard norm,” said Bartlomiej Turbiarz, a spokesman for the regional prison service in Lodz.
According to prison officials, priority will be given to convicts who have children below the age of 15, and foreigners who are unable to take advantage of visits by relatives.
The computers are typically located in separate, monitored rooms.
Until now, besides visits in person, contact with relatives has been confined to letters and telephone calls.
Lawyer Jacek Dubois has welcomed the initiative, arguing that close contact with family is the best form of rehabilitation.
Prisoners require permission before making use of the service. Depending on the severity of the convict's sentence, a prisoner may be granted access once or several times per month, from 15 minutes to an hour each session. (nh)
Source: IAR, TVP