Future biotechnology could be used to trick a prisoner’s mind into thinking they have served a 1,000 year sentence, a group of scientists have claimed.

Philosopher Rebecca Roache is in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment. Dr Roache claims the prison sentence of serious criminals could be made worse by extending their lives.

Speaking to Aeon magazine, Dr Roache said drugs could be developed to distort prisoners’ minds into thinking time was passing more slowly.

“There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence,” she said.