Thousands of prisoners are being given keys to their cells in the latest farce to hit the criminal justice system.
They can roam in and out virtually at will under a scheme designed to give them more "respect and decency".
The astonishing measure prompted a furious response from MPs last night, who warned that the human-rights culture was out of control.
It will provoke a furious public backlash at a time when prisons are overflowing and dangerous offenders are being tagged and freed into the community.
Official figures revealed that 5,747 of the 9,577 offenders in Yorkshire prisons have keys for 'privacy locks' to protect themselves and their belongings.
Although many of them are at open prisons and youth offenders' institutes, others are in standard closed prisons for those who have committed serious crimes such as muggings, burglary and theft.
It also emerged that some youth prisons now call offenders 'trainees' or 'residents'.
Governors in other parts of the country are also understood to have introduced the key scheme.
Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies accused the Government of "turning prisons into hotels".