Inmates invoke human rights after being left without vapes and TV in jail power cut

A man smoking a vape
Inmates have been left for days without heating and electricity to charge their vapes - MARTINA PARANINFI/MOMENT RF

Prisoners at one of the country’s most notorious maximum security jails have claimed their human rights have been violated because a power cut has prevented them from charging their vapes.

A large part of Frankland Prison in Durham has been hit by a power cut, with many cells not having electricity for days.

The result has been inmates living in darkness and unable to watch television.

But most of the complaints have been about the fact prisoners have been unable to charge their vape devices.

While smoking is banned in prisons across the UK, vaping has been permitted in most since 2017.

A prison source said: “The prisoners have been left in semi-darkness and have also been without heat, which is causing a lot of complaints.

“But the one thing that’s really been getting them down is not being able to vape. Some have suggested they’re having nicotine withdrawal and their human rights are being violated.

“The prison is doing everything it can to get that section of the jail back on the grid but for now a lot of inmates are not happy bunnies.”

‘Monster Mansion’

Frankland was dubbed Monster Mansion because of the large number of notorious killers and rapists it houses.

Among those held there are Wayne Couzens, the former Met officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and Levi Bellfield, the serial killer.

It is understood that the power outage has not affected the area of the prison housing the most serious offenders, causing some anger among other inmates.

The mother of one prisoner said her son was becoming increasingly frustrated at the situation.

She said: “From around 4pm onwards the wing is dark, there’s no heating and no hot water apart from a single flask which they are given and is supposed to last them all day.

“He can’t watch his TV in his cell and he can’t even charge his vape pen. Prisoners have human rights as well and what they have been going through is inhumane.”

The Prison Service say there was no threat to security and vulnerable prisoners had been moved to other parts of the jail if their health was judged to be at risk.

Emergency lighting has also been put in place so that inmates aren’t left completely in the dark.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The prison remains secure and fully operational and engineers are working urgently to restore power to the affected areas.”

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