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Jail ‘luxuries’ to be cut back
Jail ‘luxuries’ to be cut back

Victims of crime are demanding an end to prisoners' perks in the State's jails, including dance classes, yoga, and classical music recitals.

They're meant to aid rehabilitation, but critics say with government cutbacks, they're luxuries we can't afford.

Every fortnight Zumba teacher, Megan Windeyer, instructs inmates at Silverwater prison.

"They're there to be punished, but it really is quite a stark place, but they make the best of what they've got there," Megan said.

It costs taxpayers $275 dollars for Megan’s session, and among her students are notorious child killers Keli Lane, and Kathleen Folbigg.

While, others learn yoga at $360 dollars a go.

The Banton Brothers are also prison tutors, teaching juveniles musical production skills.

"It just builds their confidence, and allows them to have a glimpse of a dream," producer Josh Banton said.

No-one is arguing against rehabilitation, but with the state government slashing the health and education budgets, victims groups say programs like Zumba deserve zero funding.

Howard Brown from the Victims of Crime Action League says his organisation spends a lot of time with victims explaining the purpose of jail.

“Punishment and rehabilitation. I guess someone forgot to tell us we have to add Zumba classes," Brown said.

South Coast inmates were treated to a two-day classical music workshop, others received poetry lessons.

The New South Wales Shadow Attorney-General Paul Lynch says that the government needs to work out exactly what the purpose of incarceration is.

“If they are interested in serious rehabilitation (they) need to put money into things that actually work," the Shadow Attorney-General said.

The New South Wales Attorney-General says it's important inmates are involved in health and stress reduction programs.

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