Prisoners have been given the ability to lock and unlock their own cells at one of Britain’s biggest jails.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the move at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham allowed inmates to have more privacy when they wanted time alone.
Prison officers are expected to knock before entering the cells under the rehabilitation scheme, the Telegraph reported.
It is understood inmates can only lock their cells from the inside and at times when they have been opened by staff across the wing.
Prison can override the locks and inmates are unable to unlock their cell if it has been secured from the outside by an officer.
Other policies at the £250m prison, which opened in 2017, reportedly include renaming cells as “rooms” and referring to inmates as “men” rather than prisoners.
Prison blocks are also said to be known as “communities”, while inmates are provided with laptops.
The new approach is featured in a report by the Royal Institute of British Architects, in conjunction with the MoJ, called Wellbeing in Prison Design, according to the Telegraph.
A Prison Service spokesman told Sky News: “While we welcome views on how the design of new prisons could reduce re-offending by improving prisoners’ mental health and rehabilitation, this document is not a blueprint for future prisons.
“Staff at HMP Berwyn can override the locks that prisoners use when they want privacy in their cells.”
HMP Berwyn holds more than 2,100 Category C offenders, defined as “those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who are unlikely to try to escape”.
In January, the MoJ confirmed plans to phase out bars on prison windows in England and Wales after a government-funded study reportedly warned the bars were “punitive” and “institutional”.
New jails will instead feature windows with “toughened glass” which are more effective in stopping prisoners getting hold of illegal drugs and mobile phones, the MoJ said.
The ministry was also announced in December that thousands more prisoners will get telephones in their cells under government plans to tackle violence and re-offending.
Fifty prisons across England and Wales will have the private phones installed by March 2020, the MoJ said.