Prisoners who spend their leisure time watching television are proving to be a money-spinner for the Government.
Corrections is making nearly half a million dollars a year renting TVs to inmates - and one recently released prisoner says it's a rip-off.
"Prisoners have got nothing but TV to keep them entertained," Arthur Taylor told Newshub. "It's their entertainment, it's their source of news and information."
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But they don't come for free. It cost $2 a week for prisoners to rent a television off Corrections. They can watch channels TVNZ1, TVNZ2, Three, Prime, Māori TV and a couple of radio stations.
So many TVs were rented last year that Corrections collected nearly $500,000.
Taylor says the scheme's just not fair.
"Two dollars a week is a lot out of a prisoner's wages. A lot of them are on less than $10 a week."
Prisoners who work in prisons receive an allowance of 20c to 60c an hour, so $2 a week for the TV could be 10 hours of work.
"For them, relatively, that's a lot to hire a television," said Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis.
But he also said inmates don't have to hire one.
"There's other things that cost nothing. You know, there's nothing like a good book."
Prisoners haven't always been charged for televisions - they could bring in their own from home before 2013.
The hired televisions are housed in a clear plastic frame to prevent contraband being hidden inside.
The amount made from the scheme is ramping up. In the first year, Corrections made $12,958 from the scheme while it was in the pilot phase.
The following year it went up to $382,753, and in 2017-2018 it was $455,266.
But Corrections says it doesn't turn a profit from the rentals.
Chief custodial officer Neil Beales said the scheme is important.
"If you're spending a long time in prison and spending time in your cells, boredom can sometimes drive people to do things we don't want them to do."
Some prisoners are spending up to a fifth of their income on watching telly.
But there's no appetite from the Minister to change the system - it's a healthy little earner that offsets costs and helps keep the peace in prison.