While free-to-air television may be being switched off, and a trip to the local Harvey Norman store out of the question, inmates of South Australia prisons won’t be foregoing their daily dose of Neighbours.
Thanks to an initiative of the state’s government, the four facilities of Port Lincoln Prison, Port Augusta Prison, Cadell Training Centre, and Mt Gambier Prison will all shortly have their television services upgraded to digital.
Currently, these facilities have various master antenna television (MATV) systems installed which distribute analogue television services to each cell and other areas.
The new systems will provide digital terrestrial channels and also have the ability to receive and distribute (encrypted) satellite IF signals from a Pay TV provider such as Foxtel or Austar.
According to the South Australian Department for Correctional Services, it was essential that continuity of television services into all cells be maintained.
“Television is considered one of the most important services for use in managing prisoners’ recreational time within the corrections environment,” DCS documents on the television upgrade read.
The work on upgrading the signal sent to some 517 cells across the four prisons will be completed by December 15, the date at which the broadcast of analogue television services to regional South Australia will cease.
The news follows the announcement in May that the South Australian Government said it was mulling the use of biometric identification across its DCS-run prisons.
The biometric verification system would initially be implemented at Adelaide Remand Centre, and pending a successful trial, be rolled out to two additional sites including Yatala Labour Prison, Adelaide Women’s Prison, Mobilong Prison, Port Augusta Prison, Mt Gambier Prison, Cadell Training Centre, and Port Lincoln Prison.
In July it was announced that inmates held within Tasmania Prison Service facilities would soon have access to a new phone system which will enable them to make calls to specific phone numbers linked to their own prison ID codes.
The system, to be rolled out at four sites across Tasmania – Hayes Prison Farm, Risdon Prison Site, Launceston Reception Prison, and Hobart Remand Centre – will service about 500 male and female inmates.