LAGS at one of Britain’s worst performing jails have been given a petting zoo — so they can “escape” stress.
They can book sessions to stroke gerbils and bunnies to help calm themselves.
The move has been praised as an “imaginative initiative” in a report by prison inspectors.
It calls HMP Hindley’s outside garden with small animals a place “prisoners could visit to escape the stresses of the time”.
The zoo for 600 inmates at the category C jail near Wigan is believed to include hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits.
Critics claim the move will have no meaningful impact in the jail — which inspectors said still has a serious “drug problem”.
The report found 59 per cent of prisoners tested positive for drugs.
In 2016, Hindley was named as one of the UK’s worst jails with regular cases of violence and drug-taking.
The Ministry of Justice was asked for a comment.
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