A scheme linking prisoner behaviour to privileges is to be piloted in the West Midlands from this month, prisons minister David Hanson has announced.
The so-called "offender compacts" will be trialled at HMP Drake Hall, HMP Shrewsbury, Brinsford Young Offenders Institution and a probation area in the West Midlands, Mr Hanson said.
They will begin on July 21 and will run for an initial six months with the aim of being rolled out across all prisons and probation areas in 2009.
The compacts require offenders to commit to rehabilitation or face penalties, also tying behaviour to privileges.
A new "end of custody report", linked to the compact, will also be piloted for those serving sentences of less than 12 months.
These recognise positive behaviour and can be presented to employers on release.
In a written statement to MPs, Mr Hanson said: "In order to ensure appropriate behaviour offenders can earn access to certain privileges, particularly during their time in custody.
"These advantages must be earned and offenders must take responsibility for their behaviour and take the opportunities for reform offered to them through commitment, hard work and delivery against the aims of their sentence plans."
Outside the Commons, Mr Hanson said: "As well as punishing offenders through prison and community sentences, we also give support opportunities to turn away from crime through education and training."