THE life of a prisoner behind the walls of HMP Isle of Wight was revealed as the County Press was given an exclusive tour around the Island’s famous prison.

For the hardworking prisoner, there are a range of opportunities to better themselves in preparation for release to the outside.

Prisoners are not allowed to do nothing during the day. They have to either be employed in some prison work, or take up training or education.

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Cells are unlocked at 7.45am and prisoners receive breakfast and any medications they need. At 8.15am, they are let out of the wing for exercise in the yard.

At 9am, they go to work, whether that be in the textiles workshop making clothes and sheets for the prison system, in the welding shop making containers for shipping prison goods, in the waste centre collecting and sorting waste and recycling, or in the gardens, maintaining flowerbeds and growing vegetables.

This labour time can also be spent in education, either classroom or practical, such as in the painting and decorating workshop, where prisoners learn practical skills and earn nationally recognised qualifications.

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At 11.45am, prisoners are sent back to their wing to collect lunch and are then locked in their cells until around 1.30pm, giving staff a chance to take a break.

After that, they are sent back to labour and work until 4.45pm before going back to their cells with dinner.

At around 6pm, they are let out of their cells, but remain on the wing, to socialise, make phone calls or wash.

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At 7.30pm, they are locked up for the night.

Prisoners are also on a rota for use of other services, including the gym and the library, which they value highly.

Staff said these things can be used as an incentive to be well behaved and the threat of losing access to the gym is enough to encourage many prisoners to be compliant.

Time is also allowed for visitation and for religious practice at the prison’s multi-faith chapels.