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Old 01-26-2005, 08:08 AM   #1
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Should Prisoners Be Playing Video Games?

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (AP) -- Governor Matt Blunt banned video games from the state's prisons Monday, a month after a newspaper reported some of Missouri's most violent inmates were allowed to play games simulating murders, carjackings and the killings of police officers.

Blunt, a Republican who took office two weeks ago, called video games "a luxury that inmates should not be allowed to enjoy."

"Our penitentiaries are punitive institutions where those who have committed crimes against society are sent to pay for their actions. They are not meant to be arcades," Blunt said in a statement.

The ban applies to all video games -- violent or not. Blunt said state tax dollars -- as well as employees' time -- should not be spent determining which video games are violent.

The Corrections Department already had removed 35 violent video games from the maximum-security Jefferson City Correctional Center as The Kansas City Star prepared to publish a story about the games in early December.

The games, which were paid for with profits from the prison canteen, included titles such as "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out contract killings.

In prison, inmates should "pick up skills and abilities that will allow them to go back out into society and be productive citizens," Blunt said. "Playing video games doesn't have anything to do with either of those objectives."

It's unclear how many states allow video games in prison.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:14 AM   #2
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*Waits until "cruel & unusual punishment" lawsuit is filed for denying access to video games.....*
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:19 AM   #3
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I've said this before and I'll say it again: I don't give a crap what prisoners do in prison, as long as they're not allowed to be a part of my society, and as long as they're either not released, or not released until they are capable of being in society and not being a threat anymore. If playing violent video games in prison means they will continue to be incapable of that and as result continue to be in prison, so be it.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: Should Prisoners Be Playing Video Games?

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
"Our penitentiaries are punitive institutions where those who have committed crimes against society are sent to pay for their actions."

...

In prison, inmates should "pick up skills and abilities that will allow them to go back out into society and be productive citizens."
Funny. I don't feel that many people are really serious about the second statement. I don't particularly think Gov. Blunt is either.

As it stands, our prison system is a failure for being nothing more than punitive. Prisoners should not only learn constructive things to be able to readjust into society, but, additionally, their dignity should remain intact. And, of course, that means preventing violence and sexual abuse against inmates by both fellow inmates and also the prison guards.

Granted, there are plenty of prisoners who do have a rotten attitude and need to be punished for a while. However, there might also be too many shoved into despair. If prison is ultimately about rehabilitation, it should never plunge into despair--and, hence, really make them career criminals.

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Old 01-26-2005, 08:52 AM   #5
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Reading stuff like this pisses me off. People who don't think prisoners deserve this kind of "luxury" should be forced to live like the average prisoner for a while. That way they can see for themselves just how luxurious prison is.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:25 AM   #6
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People are in prison for punishment and tax payers should not have to pay for video games for prisoners.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:29 AM   #7
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I guess if we let it be well-known that we want prisoners to play video games rather than serve their time, the easiest way to live in luxury is to commit a crime.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sheltie
People are in prison for punishment and tax payers should not have to pay for video games for prisoners.
Well, and this is why, I believe, our prison system is such a mess. Prison should be designed around rehabilitation. Prisoners should be given all the tools to be productive members of society, such as education. Prison guards, equally, should be kept in check to prevent cruelty.

As it stands? Being a prisoner is a "scarlet letter." Most employment applications ask if you've been in prison, which, of course, is an easy way to prevent hiring ex-convicts (watch "Les Miserables" sometime).

I don't know. This is a complex issue. We're tempted to be vengeful, and, rightfully so in many cases, we are generally afraid of these people. Out of sight=out of mind. The cycle, though, has to be broken somewhere. Not everyone in prison is a murderer, and it has been shown that many violent crimes come out of repeat minor crimes. Very few actually start out as murderers, so if the prison environment could start out successful in rehabilitation, we might be able to *prevent* many violent crimes from actually happening.

Perhaps "prison" should have more of a structured environment, such as the military?

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Old 01-26-2005, 09:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I guess if we let it be well-known that we want prisoners to play video games rather than serve their time, the easiest way to live in luxury is to commit a crime.
I most sincerely doubt that playing video games in prison is "living in luxury."

Would you trade your place in life to play video games in prison?

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Old 01-26-2005, 01:26 PM   #10
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I wouldn't, but if I was desparate to make it by in our society, had no money, and struggled financially, I would be tempted to commit a crime in order to have a better environment - not that PRISON is at all a good environment (especially in our eyes), but a place with video games is luxurious to those who simply can't live the way we can.
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I wouldn't, but if I was desparate to make it by in our society, had no money, and struggled financially, I would be tempted to commit a crime in order to have a better environment - not that PRISON is at all a good environment (especially in our eyes), but a place with video games is luxurious to those who simply can't live the way we can.
Oh, come on.

Your post raises one of two possibilities:

a) There are people whose lives are so bad that they're willing to commit a crime just to play video games. But it's a small and insignificant number of people. And let's face it, if you're willing to commit crimes just to be able to play video games, there's a more-than-slight possibility that you're pre-disposed towards criminal acts anyway.

b) There are LOTS of people whose lives are that bad. If that's the case, we have much bigger problems in our society than video games in prison, and we should be embarrassed to be holding that against people when we have it so good.
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Old 01-26-2005, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by strannix


Oh, come on.

Your post raises one of two possibilities:

a) There are people whose lives are so bad that they're willing to commit a crime just to play video games. But it's a small and insignificant number of people. And let's face it, if you're willing to commit crimes just to be able to play video games, there's a more-than-slight possibility that you're pre-disposed towards criminal acts anyway.

b) There are LOTS of people whose lives are that bad. If that's the case, we have much bigger problems in our society than video games in prison, and we should be embarrassed to be holding that against people when we have it so good.
I think you are missing the point I was making. It's not specifically about video games, but by comparisan, luxurious things some may believe - which I agree, a small number - that if they commit crimes, they could spend a while in a better place. There are bigger problems in society, but I was presenting a sideline thought. I do seriously think that it's a waste of money to put video games in prisons, and it's not helping society in any way. Keep in mind, they are the state's most violent inmates.
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Old 01-26-2005, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I wouldn't, but if I was desparate to make it by in our society, had no money, and struggled financially, I would be tempted to commit a crime in order to have a better environment - not that PRISON is at all a good environment (especially in our eyes), but a place with video games is luxurious to those who simply can't live the way we can.
Please don't take this as a personal insult but that is a pretty silly statement.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you've never personally known anyone who has gone to prison, right?

Without getting into detail, I know more than a few and trust me...no matter how bad their lives are, how hungry they are, what shitholes they may live in or how poor they are, the LAST thing they want to do is go to prison, especially if they've been there before. Whatever problems they may have, prison is hardly considered a better environment.

Why do you think some people looking at a third strike would rather die than go back?
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Old 01-26-2005, 04:34 PM   #14
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Read my last post.
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:45 PM   #15
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Personally, I think there should be no video games. Give them books or something that will stretch and broaden their minds. If there are video games, they should be non-violent. Nothing like playing GTA and saying, "hey, wanna see what I'm in prison for?"
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