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Video Games Removed From Prison System

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December 02, 2004, 14:23
Robert S. DuBoise
Video Games Removed From Prison System
This is from the State Bar Website earlier today:

Missouri Pulls Video Games From Prison

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's most violent criminals can no longer play video games that simulate murders, carjackings and the killing of police officers, a decision reached after prison officials were told about the content.

"We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence."

The Star reported Thursday the state's new maximum-security prison pulled dozens of violent Sony PlayStation 2 games from its recreation center on Wednesday, after officials were alerted to their content by a reporter. Inmates had been using them for months.

In fact, the prison's PlayStation offerings included one of the most violent games on the market, "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out brutal contract killings.

Didn't it strike anyone that putting a game named "Hitman" in the prison system wasn't a great idea?
December 02, 2004, 15:20
Shane Phelps
They have PlayStations? They play video games in "Maximum Security"?
December 02, 2004, 16:43
Debra Mergel
My sentiments exactly!
December 02, 2004, 23:03
Rebecca Gibson
Cognitive Intervention for the guards or "entertainment directors"?
December 03, 2004, 07:48
Tim Cole
Remember that other thread we had a while back where the inmate had over $100,000 in his prison account? I wonder if Missouri would let that guy buy a nice plasma TV for all his buddies?
December 03, 2004, 09:13
To me, the greater irony is that the Kansas City, Missouri, School District is still underperforming when it comes to educating all its children. See Jenkins ex rel. Jenkins v. Missouri, 216 F.3d 720, 728- (8th Cir. 2000) (Heaney, J., concurring).

Examples like this cause reactionary members of the general public to go into cardiac arrest because convicted felons appear to be "living it up" while only 42.1% of high school seniors could read at grade level in 1994. See id., 216 F.3d at 730.

Examples like the Kansas City prison also make me to wonder if society wouldn't be better served by following the examples of Leavenworth and Angola. If some of those play station-playing Kansas City boys spent a few months cutting sugar cane in the fields of Southern Louisiana--and thereby do something that actually contributes back to society, instead of taking from society--perhaps those boys would be less likely to reoffend.

...Just my 2 cents.
December 03, 2004, 14:21
Yeah, back in the good old days, in the 60's when my dad was a Harris Co ADA and I was a mere child, we would travel to visit east Texas relatives and drive through various east Texas communities and drive past prisons where the prisoners were working, my dad would bemoan the fact that in the old days, our roads were build many times by inmates, that the Texas Prison system at one time was self supporting and actually made a profit (grew their own food, sold the excess, etc). I know those days are long, long gone.

But it does boggle my mind that inmates of any level of security have video game capability at all, regardless of the type of game. Of course, I don't think they should have tv either.

Say it ain't so AP, tell me we don't have video recreation in TDCJ...

Of course, if they would make the inmates serve a bit more of their sentences I might ease up on my opinion about TV's...We could strictly limit them to reality shows and the like.
December 03, 2004, 14:33
A.P. Merillat
Greg, at least as of this nano-second, you probably won't find any X-Boxes or Nintendos at the Hughes, Stiles or Polunsky units and the like -- never know what might happen tomorrow, though. Kind of like parole laws, if you know what I mean. But, I'll bet you folks haven't heard about the French film crew who finagled their way into one of the Texas units recently and secretly filmed a rapper-convict during their visit. They asked him to do a few lines of his newest "song" and turned the camera on. The guard standing by thought that the prisoner was just doing his thing during the visit, he could not have known that an actual rap music video was being made at the moment. That rap video has become a huge hit, complete with prison background, convict in his prison clothes, unit sign in front of the property...unbelievable, but it's true.
If you think I'm kidding, check it out: the rapper is Z-Ro, and the so-called song is "I Hate You, (expletive)".
December 03, 2004, 16:59