INMATES in Cork Prison are being compensated for a reduction in out-of-cell time by getting access to Netflix for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.
As viewing figures of Netflix hit shows, including Tiger King and Narcos, are being boosted across the world by lockdowns, inmates of the prison on Rathmore Road in Cork are being given access to the streaming service.
Netflix was introduced as a way of compensating inmates who can no longer have visitors and have had out-of-cell time reduced in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
According to a prison service spokesman, the hit shows are beamed to each cell.
Each prison management decides on what will be shown in each prison.
All inmates in each prison have to watch the same show or film, there is no individual choice.
It is understood that the service is provided for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening each day.
Until now, prisoners had access to the Saorview free-to-air package, giving them access to RTÉ 1, RTÉ 2, TG4, RTÉ News Now, RTÉ Jr, RTÉ +1, Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three.
A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said: "During this current COVID-19 crisis, the level of constructive activity and out-of-cell time for prisoners is greatly reduced.
"The Prison Education Centres have been closed in line with Government Directives and several cohorts of people in custody are being held in isolation or are cocooned or have been quarantined to their cells to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
He continued: "The Irish Prison Service has put in place a facility whereby Prison Management can broadcast films, programmes or series from Netflix to a single additional channel on in-cell televisions.
"The schedule to be shown on the additional channel will be determined by Prison Management in each prison.
"Prisoners do not have direct access to Netflix to select their own programmes."