If you've been imprisoned for using a computer to commit credit card fraud over the Internet, the last thing you might expect is to be offered a job on the prison's computer systems; if you're the governor of the prison you might reasonably suspect that a criminal such as that might not be the best person to trust with the prison's network.

Despite this, common sense appears to have fallen by the wayside with the news that a credit card fraudster serving six years in prison for stealing approximately £6.5 million over the Internet using forged credit card details was hired by prison bosses to help create an internal TV station that would run over the Ranby Prison network.

According to the Mirror - via Softpedia - Douglas Havard "hacked into the system's hard drive" before setting up "a series of passwords so no one else could get into the system."

An unnamed source at the prison stated that the digital damage was so severe and used such "an elaborate array of passwords it took a specialist company to get it working," and expressed disbelief that "a criminal convicted of cyber-crime was allowed uncontrolled access to the hard drive [of the prison system]."

An official statement from the Prison Service claimed that a full investigation into the issue was underway, and denied that any prisoner was allowed access to systems without supervision. The Service also stated that "the prisoner was not able to access records of any other prisoners."

As a result of his attempts to - in the words of the Mirror - "[leave] the system crippled" Havard was placed in segregation. It is not known whether his behaviour will increase the amount of time he is likely to serve before release.

Do you believe that prisoners should be expected to use all their talents to repay their debt to society, or does this smack of giving the fox the keys to the hen-house? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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