Teen cons handed laptops to watch nature films hacked them to search porn

TEENAGE cons handed laptops to watch nature films hacked them to search for porn.

Fifty took part in a pilot scheme in young offender institutions (YOIs).

They were allowed access to a secure intranet to watch tech and business talks and wildlife clips to help with rehab.

But the boys — aged 15 to 17 — downloaded software to bypass the intranet and surf online.

Prison chiefs only realised the blunder later when the alarm was raised at YOIs at Feltham, West London, New Hall in West Yorks, and Werrington, Staffs.

Sources insist firewalls meant the cons did not view porn or contact anyone on the outside. But a source admitted: “It’s red faces all round.

“It might seem amusing but the consequences could have been far more serious.”

The intranet, called Content Hub, first went live at Cookham Wood jail in Kent in July.

It has since been rolled out to all YOIs and eight adult prisons.

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Officials describe the scheme as part of “the Government’s ambitious programme to reduce reoffending”.

Ministry of Justice security teams are investigating.

The Prison Service said: “We swiftly resolved an IT issue and the system security prevented use of unpermitted material.”

Shadow Youth Justice Minister Anna McMorrin said the latest incident proved what a mess the “soft-on-crime” Government has made of YOIs.

Labour wants an independent review into custody conditions.

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