CORK prisoners have found an unlikely form of escapism to pass away the lonely hours in their cells this Summer.
Inmates are tuning in to ITV’s reality show Love Island in huge numbers this year.
A source informedthat the majority of Cork Prison inmates consider themselves diehard fans of the reality show which saw five million viewers tune in for the first episode alone.
Staff have full control over what prisoners watch in their cells, but most are interested in viewing Love Island which has become a firm favourite among prisoners. The programme is believed to have even brought prisoners closer as they discuss the antics of the previous night’s show together at breakfast every morning.
This year’s show has been no stranger to controversy and was the subject of more than 5000 complaints to Ofcom in recent weeks. This was in light of alleged misogynistic behaviour by a number of male contestants. Nonetheless, this has done little to put prisoners off who are said to be enjoying the show for its dramatic and glamorous elements.
“They chat about it every morning,” a source revealed.
“They need to have something to talk about and Love Island gives them that.”
Viewing time is restricted to between 8pm and 12pm with a source adding that this offers many prisoners something to look forward to during the day.
Armchairs to relax and watch television have become a welcome addition to cells.
Luckily, there is no shortage of treats to stock up on for viewers of the programme. The prison is believed to have upgraded its tuck shop in recent years. Its shop now has cold drinks on offer as well as sweets such as Fruit Pastilles, Kinder Buenos and biscuits.
“The chocolate biscuits are a favourite here, mainly digestives”, the source confirmed.
“Everyone loves biscuits here. They are popular because prisoners often have tea in their cells and they go together nicely.”
Prisoners may well be influenced by Love Island’s impossibly high beauty standards too. The source revealed how many have been hitting the gym of late and availing of Nivea moisturiser from the prison tuck shop. Prisoners have the additional option of ordering from Boots pharmacy as part of a weekly shop to outsource toiletries for prisoners. They also have access to Argos catalogues to access what they are looking for.
Netflix is available in each cell which is controlled by prison officers.
“They love the crime shows. Their other interests include sport. If there’s a match on it will give them something to chat about too. A lot of them are mad about soaps like Eastenders as well and you’d always hear them talking about it. Their only other real privileges would be the two phone calls a day.”