London, Apr 25 : Brit jails are so 'cushy' that prisoners are passing up easy opportunities to escape from them, a prison officers' leader has claimed.
Inmates at a top security prison recently revealed that the conditions in jails were like a 'holiday camp'.
They said they enjoyed the use of satellite television and video game consoles as well as their free bed and board.
Prisoners receive wages topped up by bonuses for good behaviour, while drugs are sometimes cheaper in jail than on the streets.
In one example, a drug dealer regularly broke into a Yorkshire jail over a six-month period, using a ladder to climb the walls and supply inmates with drugs and mobile phones.
The intruder walked across the yard with the ladder and used it to climb up to a cell window, which had been pulled apart with a crowbar and covered by a dummy grille.
"It was an extraordinary case because none of the prisoners inside tried to escape when no doubt they had the opportunity," the Telegraph quoted Glyn Travis, the assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, as saying.
"It tells me there's something wrong in society when people are breaking into prisons to bring in drugs, but the prisoners are quite happy to stay inside," Travis added.
A spokesman for the Prison Service said that it was aware of a security breach but dismissed claims of "cushy" prisons.
"During the incident, at no time were prisoners out of their cells or able to access any other areas of the prison. Immediate action was taken with extra fencing, the removal of trees, extra CCTV cameras, and the transfer of the offender involved to another establishment.
"All prisoners are provided with a breakfast pack each evening which they eat in their cells in the morning. Television sets purchased for in-cell prisoner use are paid for by the weekly rental fee of 1 paid by prisoners." the spokesman said.