London, Aug.4 : British prisoners spend a whopping 220,000 pounds of taxpayers' money playing computer games inside their cells.
According to the Daily Express, public money is being spent on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles for prisoners.
The cost is more than 20 times higher than the Government's previous claim that they had spent just 10,000 pounds.
There are 12,948 consoles in jails and young offender institutions in England and Wales for 83,600 prisoners.
Prisoners bought many, but 1,715 have been paid for by the state.
An audit last month revealed the Prison Service spent between 100 and 300 pounds a time on the machines.
Tory MP Nigel Evans got the information in a letter from Justice Secretary Jack Straw.
"This is rewarding criminal behaviour with equipment which many victims of crime could only dream of affording for their children," Evans was quoted as saying.
Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert, 45, added: "Offenders should be learning and preparing for the world of work, - not idly playing Grand Theft Auto and preparing to return to crime."
The Ministry of Justice recently announced a clampdown on the use of games in prisons. There is currently nothing to stop the use of violent 18-rated games.
But from October they will be banned from jails. The use of consoles will also be limited to prisoners on suicide watch or the best behaved.
A ministry spokesman said decisions to buy the games machines had been made on "a prison-by-prison basis".