PRISONERS are being given budgies as a reward for good behaviour.
Bosses hope the chatty birds will help keep lags chirpy.
One source said: “It’s an incentive to inmates, it could be good for their mental health — and most of the animals are used to a life behind bars.”
The jail’s Independent Monitoring Board reported: “An aviary team has been established with prisoners caring for budgerigars and some have the birds in their cells to care for.
“In addition, plans are in place to have fish and possibly rabbits available for the prisoners look after, which should contribute to the wellbeing agenda.”
Lifers also tend a veg patch and the report added: “The prison is a modern facility, which is well maintained, clean and tidy.
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“This is enhanced by the flower beds in the general areas and on some house blocks, which have been created and cared for by prisoners.
“Douglas, the lifer’s house block, grows vegetables for its own consumption and sends surplus to other wings.”
Several UK prisons allow inmates to have pets.
The decision rests with governors, provided the lag is “trusted” and on enhanced privileges.