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Shawshank star Tim Robbins teaches prisoners to act

13 May 2011 Last updated at 06:38 BST

Governments around the world are making huge cutbacks to reduce deficits and in California prison rehabilitation programmes are among the first publicly-funded services to go.

In a state with twice as many inmates as the entire UK prison population one of the few schemes now available is run by the Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins.

The star of classic prison movie The Shawshank Redemption told BBC News about how the programme helps inmates.