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POND LIFE; Prison installs fish tanks to calm angry lags; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Nick Dorman

A JAIL has become Britain's first to keep lags entertained and calm - with tropical fish.

Bosses said the taxpayer-funded tanks created a "less formal" atmosphere.

Heated tanks hold exotic varieties including guppies, angelfish and neon tetras - while cold-water versions have also been installed for goldfish, zebrafish and barbs.

Prisoners even have a "fish rep" to liaise with suppliers and receive technical info.

Inmates praised having fish at HMP Grendon, Bucks, the UK's first "therapeutic jail" where lags are "residents".

A source said: "When the tanks arrived they raised a few eyebrows. But behaviour has improved." One prisoner said inmates "derived calmness" from the pets, adding:

"Being responsible for other creatures can be a step in getting individuals to care for each other."

The tanks and fish are provided by charity the Bucks Association for the Care of Offenders, which i e e he h redo wa reimbursed by the jail after delivery. Grendon - made up of "communities" rather than wings - has murderers, rapists and arsonists among 235 inmates. James Price of the TaxPayers' Alliance blasted: "Taxpayers hardly expect their m Ta Tax mates. axPayers' xpayers money to be spent on therapy fish for prisoners. Government budgets are already under strain." The MoJ said: "Governors have the freedom to provide activities which help tackle offending behaviour and provide a safe and stable environment."

nick.dorman@people.co.uk

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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2017
Words:235
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