Video Games Banned from Prison

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by OutThere, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #1
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #2
    Well, I'd hate to see our prisoners entertained. Much better that they sit around, mulling over ways to escape or attack each other or the guards. :rolleyes:
     
  3. apple2991 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Regardless of whether you buy the whole "video games increase violence" argument, which I don't, I will say I am a little uncomfortable allowing those who have demonstrated a history of violence or crime to interact with that sort of fantasy world. I think it makes it increasingly morally justifiable (or ignorable) to them.

    That is, of course, assuming the prisoners are in prison for a real crime. If the crime was drugs, hell, let 'em do whatever they want.
     
  4. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #7
    i've never understood why it's such a shock when they remove these luxery items from a prison. and yes, i really think that if you're in prison in the first place, that video games are a luxery that you don't deserve.

    good x 3
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    They're not supposed to be relaxing. It's prison. Most of them are criminals. It's unfortunate that they're not all criminals, but that's another topic.

    I don't feel bad for them if they don't have video games, television, good food, or air conditioning in the summer--they're supposed to be paying for their crimes.

    If that's the life, perhaps all of the unemployed should commit serious crimes so they don't have to worry about food and shelter and education and entertainment. ;)
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #9
    Instead of video games and TV, more should be spent on schooling and training in order to keep them from going back to prison. And those in for a long term, should be paying the price.
     
  7. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #10
    Isn't prison that place you get sent to as a punishment for your crimes? I don't understand why they get movies and TV, much less video games.

    Of course, I have a serious problem with our prison system. I can't decide whether we're being too harsh or too lenient. I guess that all depends on your offense.
    If the objective is to rehabilitate these folks to become productive members of society, then how does having you live in a community of criminals help at all? Just reinforces bad behavior.
    If the idea is just punishment for your crimes, then they should "get nothing and like it, Spalding." Be punished, do your time, go back to being a criminal until you get caught again.
    If the idea is to contain them to protect society while they are incarcerated, but do nothing to help them, then I'd say we do a great freaking job!
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. apple2991 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    We're not putting people in "the box" here. Regardless of popular perception, most people aren't in prison for extreme crimes such as murder or rape. Half of people in prisons are there because of property theft, drug related crime, or public-order violations. Do I think they should be punished? Yes, of course. Do I think they should live in the underground Earth from 12 Monkeys? No.

    Not counting those who have been wrongly convicted, these people have made mistakes. Some of them realize it and won't make them again, some of them won't. But do you really think people are going to come out of prisons better and more acclimated to society if prisoners have nothing to do all day but deal with each other? Prison crime will most assuredly go up, as will tensions and violence, thus making these inmates even MORE inclined toward violent behavior, both in and out of jail.

    Additionally, remember that not all crimes are created equal, nor are all luxury items. Is a basketball a luxury item? Or do you really want 1500 athletic, angry, locked up men have nothing to occupy their minds and time other than how to escape, how to steal, or who they want to fight during their next boxing match? Personally, I'd give them the basketball, or the controller. Whatever. You see it as an unnecessary expense, but it may just be saving the state money by not having to hire more corrections officers to manage the unruly, unoccupied prisoners, not having to hire more guards to watch for escape attempts, not having to hire more medics for people who will get injured in fights when tensions are high because they have been in the same place for 5 years with NOTHING to do other than pushups.

    Mind you that these guys aren't just bumming around all day playing Smash Brothers. They work hours everyday for next to nothing, which they probably deserve. Point being, they don't exactly have it EASY at all. And while prison should by no means be enjoyable, it also should not be inhumane--even if that inhumanity is in the form of mental passivity.

    Plus, the only thing worse than a prisoner getting released from jail is an insane, pent-up, even more angry prisoner getting released.
     
  9. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #12
    That's why there's a difference between jail and prison.

    Given the rates of recitivism, it doesn't seem to matter whether or not we take away their Nintendo.

    I respect and follow the law, as do most people. I also:
    Pay for my own three meals a day
    Pay for my own air conditioning
    Pay for my own cable TV/internet
    Pay for my own entertainment
    etc etc etc

    While I have no issue with making sure the basic needs of prisoners are provided for, I fail to see why they should be entitled to free luxuries that some of us on the outside can't afford. I also have no problem with allowing prisoners to receive a basic education or learning a skill, so when they leave they might be able to be productive.

    In order for prison to be effective, it needs to be severe enough that those that when you get out, you don't want to be sent back, and conduct yourself accordingly.
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #13
    A prison isn't a place for fun and games. They are there to pay for their crime. Sounds as though the video games would just cause them to be more violent. They need to be learning things that will help to reintroduce themselves back into society.
     
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #14
    You mean if I blow someone's head off I can play video games for the rest of my life as I'm serving my 40-years-to-life?

    Hmmm.... :eek:
     
  12. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #15
    Well it sounds like most posters here have never been on the inside, so let me fill you in. All prisons are different. Some are minimal security, medium and high. Some have different priveledges than others. For instance where I was prisoners could have a personal TV, PlayStation 1 (dating myself), and cable under certain conditions. Condition one: the prisoner had to have a paying job and live in a MOD; two: no TV or PlayStation without a GED, High School or college; three: they had to buy it through the prison system and have a third-party pay for it (freaking hassle for most). The only games allowed were family-oriented, fantasy, race cars - apsulutely no shooters, San Andres, or the like. Some prisoners had CD walkmans, but CDs had to be purchased through the prison system at rip-off prices through a third-party, and no gangster rap.

    Work payed between .05 to minimum wage. The select nine prisoners making minimum wage had to pay 1/3 for rent, but still payed more than most jobs. I was lucky to make minimum wage - left jail after seven months with > 1k.

    The only entertainments I had were a Sony Walkman radio, a 40 hour-a-week job doing hospital laundry (yuck!), the education center, outdoor walks, exercise (no weights), AA meetings, drug rehab type classes, and not much else. Occcasionally there were cultural events like a Pow Wow. Oh course there was church, which lead to me to atheism.
     
  13. iKwick7 macrumors 65816

    iKwick7

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    #16
    :)

    I agree with that. Let those potheads play, they never hurt anybody.

    :)
     
  14. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #17
    There are always going to be card games - Spades. Want evidence do you have that links video games to violent crime, any proof? Oh yeah, most of the prison system is fundamentalist christians (about 90%), muslim (varies), and atheist (under 1%). So why are there so many fundies in prison? :eek:

    I would hate to go back to prison. No atheism resources in the joint. Freaking xians everywhere. And no Internet. :eek:
     
  15. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #18
    They should remove all luxuries from prisons, including gyms and card games. They should be served only the bare minimum of food, clothes, hygienic supplies, etc. Make prison life so boring and uncomfortable that non-life term inmates understand that it doesn't pay to commit crimes. The pain of living in prison is an effective deterrent against committing crimes. People soon wise up.

    In doing so, prison terms should be shorter, but more painful. For life-timers, they become examples for other criminals. You kill someone, don't expect your prison life to be rosy.
     
  16. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #19
    Spoken like a true sociologist! Whip them daily too! Bring back the slave ships, the rack, beheading, stoning, burning at the stake.... :p
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #20
    There has to be a balance. For some the comfort of prison is much more tolerable than the outside world. Make prison too tough, and you can get meaner criminal in return.

    The possible solution might be to have two separate prison systems; one for the non-violent/first time offender and the other for the violent/repeat offender. For maybe it is time for us to realize that not everyone can be saved, or wants to be saved.
     
  18. OutThere thread starter macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #21
    Very true - without any stimulus whatsoever it doens't take long for the mind to harden. Just think about 40 years sans anything enjoyable.
    :eek:
     
  19. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #22
    You know, from what I've heard, life in maximum-security prisons is far from rosy, videogames or not. Overcrowding, privately-run employing cost-cutting measures, random or institutionalized violence, not to mention basic loss of personal freedoms and privacy.

    To those that advocate making prison life even harsher, how exactly does that prevent recitivism?

    Why do people commit crimes in the first place?

    I would imagine out of laziness (not the sitting-on-the-couch type), irrationality/emotion, desperation, lack of education, greed, or in some cases because they are socio- or psychopaths.

    How in any of these instances would the conditions in prison be a decisive element in a potential criminal's thought processes. None are particularily amenable to that kind of logic. When prison is a step up for some people, that is pretty pathetic and a rather large indictment of our nature as a society.

    All people deserve basic dignity and a chance to laugh once in a while. Since when has prison been about rehabilitation and paying for your crimes anyway? It is about getting undesireables away from the rest of us, so that we don't have to think about the problems they represent. I find it ironic that so many who are quick to lock people up are the same people who complain about paying for it.

    If the inmates earned the right to play videogames (like in chanoc's post), then it is fine by me. They are not coming standard in the cell, you know. It is at least an incentive to follow a system to get your reward through legitimate means, which seems like something pragmatic in a prison system.

    meh.
     
  20. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #23
    Let me say that criminals are not defined by societal pressures. Some would argue criminals come from poor backgrounds or have some genetic predisposition towards crime... i say bullsh*t. People become criminals because they decide to act criminally. It has nothing to do with one's economic fortunes, how they were raised, or lot in life. They chose to be criminals, and for that decision alone, they are ultimately responsible for their actions.
     
  21. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #24
    Well good for you. What does that have to do with the manner in which they are held responsible for their decisions or the rate of recitivism? How does your statement relate to whether videogames are acceptable?
     
  22. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #25
    There are plenty of social pressures, do not be so nieve. You have a weak subjective argument. :rolleyes:
     

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