Vic Toews cuts inmate access to porn on prison televisions

Vic Toews is talking about pornography again.

This time, however, he'll likely be widely lauded, not criticized.

On his Twitter account Wednesday, he said "I recently discovered that some inmates had access to porn in prison on their TV's. I have put an end to this unacceptable practise."

Toews' office told the National Post that the tweet was in reference to his office discovering that some inmates at the Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia were able to watch TV with "pornographic content."

They said the offending channels were removed this week, but didn't immediately clarify what the offending channels or programs were.

Toews, who has been leading the Harper government's tough-on-crime agenda had a busy day.

On Wednesday afternoon  he also announced several other measures aimed at making life tougher for federal prisoners.

One of the new measures will mean inmates will have to pay more for the cost of 'room and board.'

According to the Globe and Mail, inmates earn between $5.25 and $6.90 daily for work behind bars, with unemployed offenders getting a daily allowance of $1.00.  Starting next year, the highest paid inmates will have to contribute 30 per cent of their incomes to cover room and board.

But Kim Pate, executive director of Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies that advocate for women in prisons, said many inmates spend their stipends on buying extra food and on their families.

"They're mostly sole support for their children before they go to prison, a lot of them. Any extra money they do make ... they send out to their children in the form of gifts or to provide support for them," Pate told the Globe.

"The maintenance of contact with family and support is one of the single best indicators of whether someone will do well when they're finished the prison sentence.  These measures don't seem to be aimed at helping that."

Other changes introduced by the Harper government on Wednesday will streamline the way prisoners purchase products from the outside and make them pay to cover all the costs of their phone calls.

Toews claims the changes will save taxpayers $10 million a year.

"These measures are tangible steps forward to hold criminals to account," he said in a statement.

"All too often, victims have told us they feel the criminals have all the rights.  We've listened."