TAXPAYERS are footing the bill for a new television in Queensland prisons every four hours as inmates smash them up at an alarming rate.
New figures obtained by The Courier-Mail under Right to Information reveal 2404 TVs were replaced in the past year, costing over $300,000, with $15,000 in repair costs.
Prisoners who opt to pay the $2-a-week fee to have a TV in their cell are lavished with new release movies, with some corrections facilities running two 24-hour movie channels for them to watch.
Corrections sources said many TV sets were destroyed by inmates who smashed them against the walls, trying to get sharp items for self harm.
Items such as homemade tattoo guns have been located by prison staff, created by opportunistic inmates using the copper wire in a television set.