Thousands of UK Prisoners Play Videogames

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Controversy in 10...

No really, as soon the general public hears about this...its gonna be a shit storm.

Gaming is a time destroyer! And totally takes your mind off things. Prisons aint the place for games....and its gona be very ironic to have prisoners play GTI 4 -_-`
A single gaming session like every couple of months might be a good thing but anything more than that would just kill the punishement part!

It's a nice incentive for good behavior...

It sounds as if these video games could be used to have a certain amount of control over the prisoners. I'm alright with it as long as the prisoners can pay for the games (to a certain extent) themselves.

I like the thought of if i was locked up, i could play video games.
But you have to realize then it's just a minor inconvenience to be in prison. Free meals, free bed, free electricity, water etc. That dosn't seem like punishment to me.

Free meals, free bedding and free games?
Must get arrested.

Mommy! Can I go to prison too! Daddy says it was fun!

I think the point of prison should be to reform the prisoners and give them something positive they are willing to work for and follow laws for once they get out.

If you get prisoners addicted to video games, restricting greatly the amount of time they can play them and only allowing them to play them after working hard to earn the privledge (paying for both the cost of the video games themselves and reducing the cost of maintaining the prison) while also requiring them to complete classes or technical training that will give them job opportunities when they get out of prison.....it would only be a good thing.

For instance if you make each prisoner have to spend 6 hours a day working and 2-4 hours training.....to earn the ability to play games for 4 hours......I bet it would have an overall positive effect but still be highly motivational to the prisoners.

What is more prisoners who are willing to work so hard to play video games....and look forward so much to 4 hours of entertainment will be willing to follow the rules and laws when they get out of prison so they can spend more time playing Video games. Heck, I'd work with Blizzard to release a prison only server for world of Warcrack (only current prisoners can play on the server. When you get released from prison your transfered to an ex-prisoner only server instead......and here is the kicker.....if you get re-arrested?.....you character doesn't get transfered back MUuahahaha!!

Watch crime rates PLUMMET!!!

News just in; Uk prisoners have it cushy!

More at 11!!

Yeah, this isn't news, this has been going on for decades. They don't call them "Her majestys hotels" for nothing.

Also those statistics are wrong. 12,948 consoles x a (conservative) console price estimate of £200 is £2589600. That's 2 and a half million, not 221 thousand. And PS3s aren't even that cheap. And this is before you add on the games.

I suppose I think it is bad, in the sense that books are cheaper compared to console + tv + game + controller. But it isn't like I expecting prisons to be round the clock license plate making and beatings either.

I've worked in a prison over here in england and now in holiday camp and can i just say..... you don't get game consoles in holiday camps unless you bring them

Hawk of Battle:
News just in; Uk prisoners have it cushy!

More at 11!!

Yeah, this isn't news, this has been going on for decades. They don't call them "Her majestys hotels" for nothing.

Also those statistics are wrong. 12,948 consoles x a (conservative) console price estimate of £200 is £2589600. That's 2 and a half million, not 221 thousand. And PS3s aren't even that cheap. And this is before you add on the games.

Most of them have to have their own consoles and if i remember right they are not allowed the newer ones 360, ps3, wii because of their wireless capability

Well, know what, if they work hard for them, pay for them themselves, then I wouldn't see any problem at all.
However, I have to admit I don't see much of a problem now either. Videogames are good, and as long as it isn't the only thing they do, what's the real problem?

Go, prison-geeks?

UK hasn't got the guts for punishment any more.

Remember, we (OK, actually Scotland) released the guy convicted of Lockerbie on "Compassionate" grounds as he was supposedly about to die. A whole year later and he's not only still alive, but comparatively well as he was merely diagnosed with a cancer and didn't immediately respond to treatment. I mean it wasn't like he was bed-bound and barely able to breath, he walked out.

Now that criminals have the right to vote - even incarcerated convicts serving in prison for the most serious offences - politicians will be even less inclined to prevent this sort of backsliding in prison.

Yes. Before you ask, it was a European Union judge who forced the UK to let incarcerated criminals vote. No debate in our own legislature, executive or judiciary. It was forced on us or else we lose huge economic benefits of being in the EU.

Streaky Haddock:
Free meals, free bedding and free games?
Must get arrested.

Don't forget all the great sex as well.

(Yeah, prison ain't that great)

Ilikemilkshake:
this is ridiculous, the taxpayer should be paying for MY games |:

And mine!

You know what this means; all the prisoners that are now playing Black Ops will get violent and stage prison takeovers all over the UK!

You know, if I eventually end up on the streets having to beg for food for a living... Would some one please remind me to murder some innocent stranger? as it seems you have it made in Prison. You get three square meals a day, a shower (also depending on how bad your grip is, you may get laid) a gym, Sky plus and video games... Your set.*

an cousin acquaintance of mine has just been locked up for burglary and I know for a fact that when the little shit gets out nothing will have changed, they get well looked after in prisons these days. You get better treatment than the homeless and the tax paying workers.
Look I'm not asking for prisons to be like the old borstals where people were committing suicide because of the treatment. However, it would be nice to see these prisoners actually getting punished for their crimes.

*Just kidding of course but that's the kind of mindset that creates. Why live on the streets when your a murder away from a 25 year long rent free hotel.

Mcface:
I like the thought of if i was locked up, i could play video games.
But you have to realize then it's just a minor inconvenience to be in prison. Free meals, free bed, free electricity, water etc. That dosn't seem like punishment to me.

I suppose this does present the problem in that prisoners get used to a standard of living (clothes, food, heating, cleanliness, lighting) that they cannot sustain when they leave prison.

Housing is expensive. Utilities are expensive. Hell even food is expensive and all of a sudden it isn't conveniently located you need transport costs and with poor employment due to criminal record (not to mention whatever defect in character that landed you in jail in the first place) is it really that surprising they go back to crime?

It is blatantly obvious that prisoners really should have to WORK to sustain a comfortable time in prison. If they don't work then they will have an UN-comfortable, but not cruel stay. How will that be implemented? Well there are a lot of menial jobs the government needs doing like sorting recycling.

Prisoners who don't work should have as many enjoyments as a free-man who does not work and has no money would get. I.e. not many.

Ever been to the high street with no money to spend... not a lot you can do. OK, sit on a park bench, that's it.

I suppose an incentive with work in jail is inflated prices, you can pay them minimum wage but renting a movie costs 5 to 10 times as much. So when they get back out in the real world, possibly earning minimum wage, all of a sudden that DVD doesn't look so expensive... not so worth stealing. And so on.

This could be a very clever way around wage laws that are very strict on how much people must be paid, so prisoners don't feel they are slaves, but not so many laws on how much you can CHARGE for something. And unlike the free market, the prisons have a "captive audience". They can charge £40 for a DVD or £120 for a game and they will have to work a LONG time for it.

Dare I say it, but if these stores are run by HM Prisons they could pay for themselves. Though to be "fair" the prisoners should be able to store the money in a fund and on release be able to draw from it and spend as they like (though maybe for the first year the payments should only be be via invoice i.e. send a receipt for proof of purchase before only that sum of money will be transferred).

I think the way prison re-rehabilitation should work is to CONDITION them for real life, but make real life as similar as possible but just so much more REWARDING!

One thing that should be considered is transport. The realities of modern Britain is that people will have to travel for work and education, though there is a security risk it may be worth while bus-ing convicts off sites to work sites rather than getting them used to their whole-life being within walking distance.

It's completely dispicable in my opinion how lax prisons are right now. They should get absolutely NO treats like this, ever; no exceptions... Prisons should be about punishment and rehabilitation; not free accommodation with luxuries.

Treblaine:
Snippy on the whole make prisoners work for their comforts statement.

I like your thinking, I really do. See I wouldn't have a problem with this, I wouldn't have a problem with prisoners gaming so long as they've went out and earned it. My problem is them being given it on a plate, which as you said, only makes it more likely for them to re-offend when they get back into the real world.

This gets prisoners wondering why they should bother in the real world when they can just get everything done for them at prison.

And that is why prison in the UK is pretty much a big youth club or something, gym, weights, free food, free water... Yeah that wouldnt tempt people to commit crimes while families strggle to keep homes and pay bills. Our country is fucked up.

Evilsanta:
Well, shit that means that they can grind all day long! That is so unfair!

OT: Atleast that something to do then just work out or make someone drop the soap in the showers...

In the case of dropping the soap, they'd still be grinding all day......

So long as they don't have an internet connection and there is somebody to approve who gets what and when I don't see this as a major issue.
I'd be a powerful reward for many I would think. Of course I don't think it should be common, prison is supposed to be bad, but these consoles could possible be part of rehabilitation.

Oh I forgot this, you think being able to play consoles in prison is cushty....
Check out what they are gonna do in Russia

Russian jail to install sunbeds for prisoners BBC News

Oh and spa treatments and even skype too >>

Sovvolf:

Treblaine:
Snippy on the whole make prisoners work for their comforts statement.

I like your thinking, I really do. See I wouldn't have a problem with this, I wouldn't have a problem with prisoners gaming so long as they've went out and earned it. My problem is them being given it on a plate, which as you said, only makes it more likely for them to re-offend when they get back into the real world.

This gets prisoners wondering why they should bother in the real world when they can just get everything done for them at prison.

Yes, but I don't think every convict should have a right to work.

Just like people of a certain reputation won't get employment, it's no guarantee in prison. Like those guilty of particularly heinous crimes, there is only so much work to go around, why should a child murderer get a job instead of a petty thief who wants to turn their life around?

I think that's another thing prisoners will have to learn, there are good jobs, bad jobs, and sometimes - not indefinitely - no jobs. And it takes a good bit of luck and perseverance to get a (good) job.

Early on they should be challenged when trying to get a job with "Why should I give you this (menial) job when you have your criminal record?" even while applying for prison work. Because that is going to happen on the outside, they need to justify, in some way, why they are worth hiring.

Ideally, the people who will get this work are not natural born criminals, but people who - how shall we say this - chose the wrong career path. Not sociopaths who habitually rob, steal and destroy because they feel they can do what they want and don't care who they hurt. Rather this is for people who regret they ever took this path... not for those who merely regretting they got punished.

I suppose the key points are:

(1) they are not slaves: they are protected under most employment law in terms of minimum wage, working hours and health/safety
(2) they are still prisoners: they are not free, the money they own is not free to be spent till they they are released. Their movement, speech and activities are restricted, with a long contraband list and severe repercussions for violations.
(3) Prison remains a BAD place relative to freedom. The few luxuries available are rationed, extortionately priced and with conditional sale, deliberately to reflect how their time here is a punishment. If they want their own cell they will have to pay proportional rent and utilities to what they use, not just for what they have on-top of what they had in Basic.

Treblaine:

.... they are protected under most employment law in terms of minimum wage, working hours and health/safety......

H&s yes
Working Hours yes
Min Wage..... is no
some jobs in the prison's are better paying then others but they aren't under the Nat Min Wage like normal workers. They can get a 'normal' job but only if they are serving along enough sentence then they can go for com/serv then paid resettlement (if they have been good that is)

Treblaine:
Snippy

Sounds like you've got some excellent ideas in your head for prisoners which I fully support. If only the fellow we have in charge of all that (Jack Straw I think) had the same. Though I imagine they'd be plenty with issues against this.

I imagine people will be complaining about how jobs that could be going towards free people are going towards criminals. Unless you plan on having these jobs only taking place in the prison area (Cooking and cleaning at the prisons). People moaning on whether or not its fair for criminals to have to work for their comforts (you and I seem to think its fair however I imagine they'd be people against it... Mainly criminals). Also, I'm doubting they'd be much backing for the extortionate prices on comforts for criminals. Not sure if the O.F.T would be pleased with that, maybe... maybe not. Though I think you could swing it around if you set it as the comfort in question being the same average retail price only with a much higher tax rate added on the end which could be going to Hospitals, Police and paying for food, walls and cells he's laying in.

The problem is that in order to not violate humanitarian laws you have to treat prisoners better then many of them would live on the street. Right now in America there are tons of homeless with no jobs, no money, no roof over their head, no food (to the point of having to steal it...which is why many end up in jail), no health coverage (many are in constant pain) and pretty much no hope of anything changing in the near future.

In addition there are tons of OTHER people in the same position competing for the best places to sleep outdoors, any food that is given away free etc.

Prison to people like that would certainly be a step up. In fact, prisons are so full right now that many of the regulations are not being met. The prison hospitals are way understaffed for instance and many prisoners are being forced to wait long periods before being treated.

Compared to people on the street though they still get helped way faster. Prison food may blow, but it's mandated they get fed 3 times a day versus no food at all outside of prison. Your freedom may be restricted but at least you don't have to sleep outside in the cold and or rain.

Add in the fact that prisons almost universally give some form of entertainment be it televisions, books, board games like chess, basketball courts or just fitness centers and even the prisons in California which have twice as many inmates as they should start to look good.

My wife and I saw someone eat at Buttercup (a restaraunt we like) without being able to pay. He could easily have left after eating but instead told the waiter he could not pay and to please call the cops. He wanted to be arrested as it gave him a warm place to sleep that night. Thank god he didn't decide to rob people instead and use the money to sleep at hotels, eat at fancy restraunts etc until he was caught.

The solution is not to make prisons worse....but to come up with a way to prevent life outside of prisons becoming so bad for so many. I believe the bill of rights should have included the right to a job and a reasonable pay for performing that job. Everyone should be able to work even if it isn't in the exact field they want at the time.

I also think taxes need to be redone all together with a flat tax that you pay after base deductions are removed ($15,000 for individuals, $25,000 for married couples and $3000 more for each child). No more loop holes etc, just a flat tax for everyone that is applied after you make enough for basic living expenses (not even enough in most of the country to rent a 1 room apartment and eat for individuals).

The reality is many low end jobs will not let employees work more then 30 hours, usually keeping them closer to 20 or so, in order to avoid giving them benefeits. The government should build small apartments that are rentable for a very low amount per month, much like the old projects. Having individual apartments with a community bathroom for rent for $500 a month would help prevent making prison better then real life.

Things need to change. Having video games in prisons is a good idea as an incentive. Having that make prisons better then living outside (along with all the other reasons) is more a problem of how crappy life can be for people outside of prisons. If video games, 3 very bad meals a day and a scratchy uncomfortable bed with people living all around you is a step up...there is a serious problem that needs to be fixed.

Treblaine:

I actually know someone who will be spending Christmas in prison in this sort of situation. He went to court and had the possibility of a non-custodial sentence but with no job and no home he knew he would be better off inside. What our civilization must look like to an outsider I couldn't even guess...

Anywhere you sleep in a small room with another guy who shares a toiled with you that sits 2 feet from your bed is not a "holiday"

it's smelly.

Tax payer money spent on consoles for these mother fuckers? Consoles that *I* do not have myself?
Fuck that! I say we just spend the .03c on a bullet for each one of them.
You are in prison as punishment. Its not there for you to kick back and relax. Fuck prisons have a high rate of reoffenders as it is since to many of them prison is easier than the outside world. Now with this type of bullshit who could possibly blame them?

We should hook prisoners on World of Warcraft. They won't be able to commit crimes when they have raids to attend.

IF I read the numbers right, $350,000 on old consoles n last gen games, that's a pitiful few consoles per prison, and we're talking PS2 and Gamecube here, and if it helps keep them on good behaviour, then it's worth the £1 per prisoner per year.

It's always easy to throw headlines out there saying '£600,000 wasted on...' most of the time, it's something that was either needed or would make life much easier, and that's about 1 pence per year from each UK citizen. It's basic news strategy.

Sure, we should punish the tougher prisoners harder, but if someone's in for something fairly minor, and they behave, do their work, and don't cause trouble, then why not.

EDIT: just saw the numbers, I'm gonna go ahead and guess they bought a job lot of hundreds of preowned gamecubes, xboxs, and PS2s, along with a shedload of the crappy games that wouldn't sell from GAME or Gamestation at a huge discount.

After all, last year they were still selling Xboxs and Gamecubes for £15.

I work in a prison in the US. The prisoners get a PS2, and they have to buy it themselves, NO taxpayer money is used. They are not allowed any M rated games. There is no internet connection. It has worked well as an incentive for good behavior. We confiscate the PS2 for just about any bad behavior. The worst problem is the inmates are getting porn DVD's into the jail. If we find one, their PS2 privilege is gone forever.

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