Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Prisoners Were Given [Pounds Sterling]1/2m Student Loans for Board and Lodging; Graduate: Myra Hindley Receives Her Degree in Humanities in June 1989. She Studied for It While Serving at Cookham Wood Womens Prison in Kent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Prisoners Were Given [Pounds Sterling]1/2m Student Loans for Board and Lodging; Graduate: Myra Hindley Receives Her Degree in Humanities in June 1989. She Studied for It While Serving at Cookham Wood Womens Prison in Kent

Article excerpt

Byline: NICHOLAS CECIL

PRISONERS have been given hundreds of thousands of pounds in studentloans and grants for board and lodgings despite being in jail.

Hundreds of inmates have been involved in the scam allowing them to claimthousands of pounds each for maintenance even after putting down their addressas Her Majestys Prison.

They have claimed at least [pounds sterling]500,000 in nine years and govern-ment officials areexamining cases to discover whether the final total will run into millions.

Prisoners who would have qual-ified while taking degree courses in jail includeMoors murderer Myra Hindley.

Hindley, who died in 2002, obtained an Open University degree in humanities.

Fifty Irish Republican inmates also studied for degrees including Brightonbomber Patrick Magee, who was awarded a PhD, though it is not known if any ofthem claimed grants.

The Government admitted today that 91 prisoners received [pounds sterling]250,000 in studentloans last year for main-tenance and [pounds sterling]120,000 in grants which will not have tobe repaid. Inmates at London jails are believed to have been able to claim upto [pounds sterling]9,000 a year in maintenance grants and loans.

Most of the loanswhich are supposed to be used for rent and foodmay never be repaid because individuals only have to start doing so once theyare earn-ing above [pounds sterling]15,000.

Ministers are understood to be furious at the loophole in the regulations whichdates back to 1962 and allows inmates to claim the money perfectly legally.

Universities Secretary John Den-ham said: It has been brought to ministersattention that there is a long-established but unjustifiable provision in thestudent support regulations that has allowed pris-oner on full-time courses inhigher education to receive financial support in the form of loans and grantsfor maintenance. …

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