Climate Friendly Prisons

HT/Willie Soon

From the Daily Mail

A zero-emissions ‘smart prison’ powered by solar energy that gives prisoners tablets and laptops in their cells is set to open in 2025.

But use of networked devices will be restricted to a prison-wide intranet.

These tablets and laptops in cells are connected to a secure prison intranet, but have no wider internet access.

‘This means that prisoners can access information about the prison they are in,’ a Prisoners’ Education Trust spokesperson told MailOnline. 

‘For instance, they can book an appointment with the prison doctor, or apply to have library books, or see how much credit they have to make a phone call to their family.

‘They can also read information that will help with their resettlement, such as advice on looking for a house or a job.’


‘You can’t allow prisoners to access the internet or go on social media. So providing technology to prisoners is challenging, but it can be done safely and securely if the tech platform is strong and there’s good management.

‘Devices need to be permanently internet-disabled and designed for education and preparing prisoners for work. They also need to be monitored.

‘Our research shows the public are in favour of educating prisoners and want them to find work. In today’s world this will mean using technology.’

It’s a long, detailed article about prison architecture and technology, and energy, and net zero, and heat pumps.

Net zero emissions means any carbon emissions from the UK would be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. 

Its all-electric design, solar panels, heat pumps and more efficient lighting systems will all help reduce energy demand, eliminating the use for gas boilers.

During construction, 40,000 tonnes of carbon will be prevented by using recycled concrete and steel.

Electric vehicle charging points are also expected to be built around the prison car park for staff and visitors.

Gut feeling: extremely costly feeding trough for ideologically motivated consultants. Checks off all the boxes.

Getting all the parts to work together will likely be a story of ongoing cost over runs, delays, and hand-wringing.

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August 21, 2022 2:30 pm

Climate Friendly Prisons for climate hating pseudo-scientists.

Reply to  Vuk
August 21, 2022 2:42 pm

Sounds like California.

Richard Page
Reply to  Vuk
August 21, 2022 3:02 pm

Be somewhere to put the XR members.

Reply to  Richard Page
August 21, 2022 8:00 pm

I missed the part about gluing them into their cells. With all the other niceties they are providing, I’m sure they’d want the XR prisoners to feel at home.

August 21, 2022 2:41 pm

Virtue signaling pure and simple. This will be a terrible waste of money, it may all work in the end but that will be because it is run like all the other prisons with conventional energy sources. These people need to quit wasting taxpayer’s money.

Reply to  Bob
August 21, 2022 8:13 pm

Was thinking the same thing. The whole tablet crap is humorous they can’t browse anywhere but just the in house website so why not just print a booklet … oh wait that doesn’t sound high tech enough 🙂

Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 2:45 pm

Some quick research and a little arithmetic. This ‘net zero’ new prison is said to be very similar to the just opened in 2022 HMP Five Wells. It holds 1700 class C prisoners and cost £253 million. The newly contracted Net Zero prison is projected to cost £400 million (ignoring likely cost overruns). Delta £147 million to achieve net zero for ~1700 prisoners. That is £86471 more per head.

Now the population of the UK is 67.2 million. So on this purposefully planned and already contracted official government comparison, achieving UK net zero will ‘only’ cost about £5.8 trillion. That might be a bit of a problem, since the UK GDP is only £2.2 trillion. Another way to show UK cannot ever get to net zero from here.

Or, ignoring the £ and just noting some physical limitations:

  1. No feasible storage exists for net zero renewable intermittency at UK grid scale.
  2. The UK grid buildout to support net zero is infeasible just in terms of transmission corridors and distribution substations, forget cost.
  3. The minerals (lithium, cobalt, rare earths, copper) to support just UK net zero do not exist globally.

Reality will eventually hit UK net zero aspirations VERY hard. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 3:30 pm

Most prisons have no heavy industry and little transportation. Of course much non-prison industry has already been exported but I don’t think that cost estimate is very realistic applied to the ‘general population’.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  AndyHce
August 21, 2022 3:33 pm

Agree completely. Maybe I should have placed a /s after my arithmetic. Thought it obvious enough given the following paragraph.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2022 7:41 am

A pillory is much more cost effective

August 21, 2022 3:06 pm

I am not the first to write this but has anyone noticed how prisons and schools are becoming similar?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Derg
August 21, 2022 3:29 pm

Locked doors, armed guards, forced indoctrination… Derg, you are on to something. One big difference. Parents send kids to public schools voluntarily. We send convicts to prison involuntarily.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2022 4:05 am

think quite a few oldies will be rocking windows to get a feed n warm place

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2022 5:46 pm

I’ve not been involved but I’ve followed such things from time to time. Non-attendance at public schools has been a criminal offense that has gotten entire families burned to the ground (them in their dwellings, which are always portrayed by the FBI/ATF as victims committing suicide). Then many states reversed their law to allow home schooling, which have gradually morphed into many requirements and restrictions to assure that as much indoctrination as possible gets done regardless.

Reply to  Derg
August 22, 2022 9:35 am

That comment could be interpreted to imply several very different things. What is exactly is your point?

August 21, 2022 3:27 pm

Remember, the voting machines have no Internet.
It implies that:
They can’t be hacked.

They are not connected.
Well, the have a modem.
They have a console.
And a RAT (remote control).
But the USER manual says you must turn those off.
Follow Sidney Powell

Michael ElliottMichael Elliott
Reply to  niceguy
August 21, 2022 3:56 pm

Will the prisons be disconnected from the national grid, so that water, sewage energy etc are all supplied by internal windmills & solar.

If so let it be a Test for what the Renewables can really do..

Michael VK5ELL

Rud Istvan
Reply to  niceguy
August 21, 2022 4:02 pm

You just summarized one of two reasons Dominion will lose its multi-billion lawsuits against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and others. The other is that Dominion cannot win based on the their machine swapped results of Antrim County, MI, down ballot results alone. (In the Presidential, Dominion eliminated 4k Trump and gave them to Biden. When the down ballot results were ‘fixed’, so we’re the Presidential swaps.) Dominion defense seems to be ‘wrong Antrim setup’. But they did the setup themselves, per Antrim. That evidence is already on official court record. To use a technical term of art, Dominion already screwed itself with these ‘necessary to survive’ but subject to future discovery lawsuits.

August 21, 2022 3:52 pm

“During construction, 40,000 tonnes of carbon will be prevented by using recycled concrete and steel.” This is meaningless, is it carbon or CO2 they are claiming to save. In any event it is meaningless without knowing the total amount with and without the claimed “saving”.
Like most things the greatest saving is by doing nothing, what carbon credits could be claimed by cancelling the construction?

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Kalsel3294
August 21, 2022 4:30 pm
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kalsel3294
August 21, 2022 4:55 pm

Recycling concrete is mostly CO2 nonsense. It is done in Illinois to recycle the crushed aggregate, voiding new sand and gravel. But you have to add more Portland cement to make up for the weaker crushed aggregate to get an equal slab strength.
And rebar is mostly made from recycled steel already using electric arc furnaces. Rebar is not so critical to steel alloy composition, so the gemisch isn’t important. A NUCOR specialty.
The physical ignorance shown here is just stupendous.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2022 3:03 am

The physical ignorance shown here is just stupendous.

Well, it is the Daily (M)Wail!

Gerry, England
Reply to  Disputin
August 22, 2022 6:39 am

Makes no difference what the newspaper is, they are only repeating what they have been given in a press release. There is no journalism going on.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 22, 2022 6:53 am

I am not a studied expert on this but it seems to me that “recycling” concrete and asphalt makes sense even without the CO2 concerns. These are large, both in volume and piece size, items that would otherwise have to be transposted and disposed of in dumps. And then the replacement aggregate needs to be “mined” and transported. Recycling these inert materials makes sense to me.

Reply to  kybill
August 22, 2022 8:51 am

Most concrete can be crushed, using “energy” btw, and used as base aggregate, if not for new concrete.

Asphalt is more easily crushed and used as road base or fill, often just ground off of the top of a roadway that is to be resurfaces, so in general no need to haul to a landfill, but use for nearby future road base, widening of breakdown lanes, etc.

August 21, 2022 3:59 pm

Love the EV Chargers….for a “not-so-far” getaway!

Gunga Din
August 21, 2022 4:04 pm

Let me guess.
Most escapes will occur at night.
(And they’ll take their free tablets with them.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
August 21, 2022 8:07 pm

Rats! Had the same thought, Gunga Din. You got there first. 👍

Yeah. Obvious to all except the blind wearing dark green lenses.

Shoki Kaneda
August 21, 2022 4:17 pm

Is this where they’ll put the deniers?

Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
August 21, 2022 4:35 pm

And the deplorables.

Reply to  Derg
August 21, 2022 11:42 pm

Same thing

Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
August 22, 2022 1:05 am

Deniers? grades of hosiery for the trans inmates?

Reply to  Roger
August 22, 2022 3:05 am

Well, there are some very odd people in prisons.

lee riffee
August 21, 2022 4:52 pm

No gas boilers? Sounds like these “green” prisons will be using up prodigious amounts of electricity when it gets cold or when hot water is needed….Heat pumps are a poor way of generating heating and for hot water they would have to depend on electric water heaters (which are OK for single family homes where there is only intermittent and limited demand). Oh well. Just another way to waste money…

Reply to  lee riffee
August 22, 2022 8:54 am

Years ago I bought a 12V RV coffee pot, that NEVER made a pot of coffee, just not enough juice from the 2 12 V lead acid batteries to make it work.

So those solar panels will do great for those electric water heaters, in the UK, in the winter.

August 21, 2022 5:49 pm

You can’t allow prisoners to access the internet or go on social media.

Why not? Prison is not for punishment, its for rehabilitation. The internet is a gateway to educational resources. According to criminologists, better education is supposed to rehabilitate criminals.

Joe Gordon
Reply to  Doonman
August 21, 2022 7:47 pm

Rehabilitation is just one of the three major reasons we have prisons. Another is punishment, so that they fear re-offending and others who might otherwise commit crimes realize there’s a cost to being caught. And yet another is the safety of those who don’t choose a life of crime.

Sadly, rehabilitation is the least effective of the reasons. We still try, because there are success stories, but we should always remember that the needs of law-abiding citizens should come first. Unfortunately, that’s a value that most lawmakers couldn’t care less about and is a big reason why confidence in our government is at an all-time low.

Reply to  Joe Gordon
August 22, 2022 10:03 am

So then, rename the prison systems the Department of Punishments instead of the Department of Corrections and stop with the fantasies promoted by psychologists.

Reply to  Doonman
August 22, 2022 11:17 am

we used to say “penal system.” “Penal” = punishment.

Reply to  Doonman
August 22, 2022 5:22 am

It’s also a way of contacting victims and threatening them as well as being able to organise all sorts of other criminal activity. There’s a reason why mobile phones are banned in prison.

There are plenty of educational resources in UK prisons. There will be courses and learning materials available over the prison intranet.

Reply to  Rusty
August 22, 2022 8:58 am

Is it time to go back to a main frame, remote terminal set up where there is access to only that which would be deemed acceptable, and no method to interact among the incarcerated, so no ability to plan?

Reply to  Doonman
August 22, 2022 5:44 pm

most often education in the criminal trades

Alas Babylon
Reply to  Doonman
August 22, 2022 7:44 pm

Yeah, you can learn a lot from pornhub and youjizz!

August 21, 2022 5:52 pm

Anyone who has worked in a prison will tell you that providing tablets for prisoners will end in tears. Many prisoners are ingenious and tech savvy. They also have lots of time on their hands to plot and scheme, and “friends” who will assist them. Good luck with keeping them off the internet.

Reply to  Rockwa
August 21, 2022 8:37 pm

My thoughts exactly.
The chances of “tech savvy” prisoners being able to hack the system and gain access to the internet are very high.
This would probably happen within the first few weeks of opening.

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 4:19 am

So? You think the prison service would own up to misuse? What planet are you living on? Maybe the Norwegian prisoners are of a higher moral quality than everywhere else…

oeman 50
Reply to  Rockwa
August 22, 2022 8:48 am

I predict they will find a way to make a shiv (knife) out of a tablet.

August 21, 2022 7:50 pm

If you get the inmates identifying as “females” and then relocated to a female prison you have Club Med. I’m surprised they haven’t found a way to locate the prison on the beach. Even I would want to be incarcerated.

Richard Page
Reply to  SMS
August 22, 2022 4:03 pm

This has been stopped here in the UK. The Trans activists have been up in arms but courts have ruled that inmates are to be incarcerated according to their physical appearance, not how they identify. Better late than never I suppose.

August 21, 2022 8:02 pm

Solar powered?

“Pssst… Jail break after the sun goes down. Pass it on.”

August 21, 2022 10:18 pm

We knew somebody who spent a fair amount of time behind bars. He was only allowed a typewriter that had very limited abilities. No laptops or computers of any type were allowed because the prison feared they could be used to hack the security of the prison. It will be interesting to see if records are altered and the prisoners just walk out the front door.

August 21, 2022 10:24 pm

They have outsourced most of the other industries, why not prisons?
I understand China has built fantastic facilities for a large number of “inmates”. The Chinese aren’t constrained by climate change protocols because they are a developing nation so its pretty much carbon neutral.
Why not work out a deal?
The prisoners could even learn a new language and some life skills in the industrial training centers. The prisoners would probably lose some weight too, although it may be from the loss of an organ.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 22, 2022 1:20 am

UK is outsourcing illegal immigrants…

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 4:07 pm

So? Denmark has come to the same conclusion and is in talks with Rwanda to take their illegal immigrants and asylum seekers as well. What is your point?

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 22, 2022 12:39 am

Are you guys sure this isn’t just a cunning plan to freeze prisoners to death in winter by relying on heat pumps and other green crap?

Oh wait – our politicians don’t do cunning plans any more because they’ve invested in big green.

Meanwhile another witless discussion on energy on the BBC in which some dolt talks about decoupled from gas energy supply for the U.K. using renewable wind and solar. Solar in winter, n the U.K. Right.

Send help.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 22, 2022 1:20 am

wind in the winter, solar in summer… right?

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 9:02 am

If solar is no good for the winter, then why build it at all?

Oh, yes, I forgot, you want to build it so that poor people can not afford the “energy” they need to live comfortably.

Why do you hate poor people sooooo much griff?

August 22, 2022 1:19 am

This will undoubtedly decrease the cost of operation of this establishment…

given UK policy on EVs, building the chargers from the start will avoid the need for upgrade later.

I note US air Force Bases with solar and batteries have decreased operating costs and made the bases more independent of the local grid.

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 9:04 am

Link please.

And I they can be “less dependent” on the local grid, then they must be able to be “independent” of the local grid, so why are they still connected to the local grid.

Climate believer
August 22, 2022 2:30 am

Perfect woke prison, what could possibly go wrong?…

August 22, 2022 4:01 am

tablets will make such nice weapons when shattered n sharpened

August 22, 2022 7:39 am

I can see the inmates sharpening the edges of those tablets

August 22, 2022 7:50 am

“apply to have library books”
I hope the tablet would have an ereader function & the inmates only have to download the book electronically.

August 22, 2022 7:59 am

I remember a story from a few years ago about Fairfax County Virginia’s new jail. The building contractor decided to use concrete blocks as outside building walls. They should have been sold concrete. The jail was figuring how to retrofit a fix.
Inmates kick, kick, repeating until they get a hole. Why not it just takes time, what else do they have to do?

Reply to  Jon
August 22, 2022 9:08 am

The contractor DID NOT just decide to use concrete block, the GOVERNMENT and ARCHTECT decided that was an acceptable material. Probably a couple of corrupt politicians and/or bureaucrats that got the kickback for the less expensive, and less secure, building materials/method.

Reply to  Drake
August 22, 2022 6:10 pm

That I did not know. So, I wonder the names of the people who authorize the unsecure wall design requirement? What are the security requirements are used in the net zero prison?

Reply to  Jon
August 23, 2022 5:12 am

Escape proofing? The inmates at intake will be sternly warned that it is illegal to try to escape. It will also be printed on a little placard posted by the door in each cell.

That ought to do it and they will save tons of “caaahbon” emissions not having to use steel fencing and razor wire.

But just in case, they will also have the prisoners plant a bed of daisies around the facility and instruct the inmates that going beyond the flower bed is against prison rules.

Reply to  Jon
August 24, 2022 10:54 am

El Cajon, CA had a jail with styrofoam walls built in the 1980’s. It was floors 7,8,9 of the new courthouse. One inmate died in a fall, but many climbed down the exterior (about 30 feet to the 3rd floor roof) after punching through the drywall and styrofoam.

Andy Pattullo
August 22, 2022 1:56 pm

Bureaucrats continue to repeat the same error of believing systems that evolved to efficiency and reliability over many decades can be remade on a new model almost instantaneously and achieve similar performance. The ignorance is breath-taking.

Alas Babylon
August 22, 2022 7:42 pm

In cell tablets, huh?

You know, a nice shard of gorilla glass would make an excellent shiv.

August 23, 2022 6:32 am

UK prisons cannot even keep the inmates in so I doubt they will keep the illegal websites out.

Does “Net Zero” mean no outside power even when the wild does not blow and the sun does not shine? How will they keep power going for the tablets so the men-women-men can watch porno. How will CCTV be powered, or is that illegal in prisons now.

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