Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

July 25, 2008 -

If they hope to enjoy video games while incarcerated, British prisoners need to be very well behaved - or suicidal.

That's according to a report on ITN which details a new video game directive from the UK's Prison Service:

The document bans prisons from spending taxpayers' money on buying hardware or computer games for inmates with immediate effect.

 

Last year the Government admitted spending more than £10,000 on 80 PlayStations and 15 Xboxes for young offender institutions... Only inmates on the highest level of Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) and those at risk of suicide will be allowed to play computer games.

In granting gaming rights to inmates who are suicide risks, the Prison Service seems to be accepting the idea that video games are a stress reliever.

Prisoners who do earn gaming priveleges won't be playing GTA IV or Manhunt 2, however. R18 games will be banned from British prisons as of September.


Comments

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

Boy, am I glad that in the real world, imprisoned people are allowed to play. In most cases their lives were pretty shitty to begin with, so just dumping them in a hole with no fun time whatsosever for years is hell. They aren't in there to go through hell, they're in there so they aren't out here. That, plus, they need to resocialise and learn how to live a better life. Again, I am so glad that it's not commenters from this site who have a say in how prisoners are treated, even if they're in prison for life. Most of what's in these comments is indescribably cold hearted and just plain unreasonable. Unless they're serious criminals, they deserve to have fun in life. You can't just steal years of their life away AND dictate on how precisely they're going to live during those years. You can make sure the time is not wasted, you can make sure they it's all a learning process, but to forbid these people to enjoy something, say .. TV, a good joke, a certain taste, or whatever else that doesn't harm them or anyone  else, that's just beyond any good reasoning. They *need* something positive to even understand what negative is, in many cases.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

18 != R18. There are no R18 rated games. The R18 classification is for hardcore porn.

The fact that 18 rated games were allowed in prisons is lol

 

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

I am actually a corrections officer.  And the facility I work at they arent doing this.  If they did the state would sell them to inmates for 3 times the actual reatil price, be required that the consoles are in a clear case, and only for inmates who do not get into trouble.   Currenty our facility allows the priveleged ones to buy those Atari type joysticks that you plug into your tv, and it has like 3 or 4 games on it *Pong, joust, donkey kong*  Personally I don't think its right for a government to be paying for this stuff.  And also, if someone says they are feeling suicidal, chances are they are just looking for some attention.  Anyone truely serious about it does it with no warning signs.  That I do know.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

You cannot be serious. Taking away toys of any kind from prisoners just because you think they do not deserve having any kind of fun in their lives is worse than treating them like animals. These people are in the the prisons for only a certain amount of time, and once they leave there they are supposed to behave better than before. But what is the point of keeping them in a dark cell with no way of stress relief whatsoever? No fun, no life! They are forced to stay put for years and years, that's the punishment. But having them stare at walls the entire time, that is just plain torture. I thought we were better than that.

 

 

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

I agree.  We shouldn't be treatiing these people like animals.  Animals have no choice but to act to their nature.  These people on the other hand had a choice to their actions and they made it quite poorly.  Hence, animals should be treated much better than these people.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

A leopard can never change it's spots - these 'people' WILL offend again in most cases.  No amount of botany classes will prevent a kiddy raper from any 'urges'...

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

Surely if your right there is little point to prisons, why not just take people to a small room in the back of the court to be shot in the head once proven guilty.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

re: shooting in the head comment - there you go - perfect solution - couldn't have said it better mysef. no re-offending and cost to the state is minimal (a bullet).  Mind you, they'd probably have to go through three weeks of health & safety first over here, plenty of time for lodging appeals, and blame alcohol, society or 'having *nothin to do* for the reason they are little shits.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

The purpose of prisons is not rehabilitation.  Its punishment.  The reason that people are not taken to the back of the court and shot is that their crime did not warrant that kind of punishment.  That is like asking "why don't you shoot your child in the face for stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.".  Different crimes warrant different punishments.  By your theory of rehabilitation then anyone who is sent for prison for life (no chance for rehab) should be shot.

But for those who are sentenced to death, the shooting them in the back of the court would speed up the process and save the tax payers lots of moneh.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

What about people that are in for life? And why should we waste tax money on fuck-ups like that, who may just commit more crimes when they get out?

Time-out during recess = staring at a brick wall. And you know what? Time-outs work. Kids won't break the rules when they risk having to sit at a wall having no fun. Think we should let kids have fun during time out? That will just make them more likely to break the rules, because the consequences won't matter.

Now, i don't have a problem with, say, a kitchen, or something like that, being put into a prison cell. Let the prisoner learn a trade, give them something productive to do, but not something FUN to do. Few prisoners (as in, only the worst of the worst) are put into real solitary confinement like you say. Most prisoners are allowed time to exercise, etc etc, even write letters to people.

The one thing that I find wrong with our justice system, is that if someone goes to prison for only a few years, after they get out, his/her life will never be able to go back to normal. They can try to get a job, but many won't hire felons. They'll be outcast be their neighbors, all sorts of punishment. The younger ones won't be able to go to college, they won't have the money and won't be accepted for being a felon.

/breathe

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

Here's a rather humorous unintended conseqeunce of the whole thing.

A young man is feeling depressed and suicidal the prison gives him video games, he lieks them he feels better, he uses the games as escapism (in much the same way radio was an escape during the great depression).

However now that he's feeling better he's no longer suicidal, and he no longer gets to play the games. This will make him feel depressed again.

Catch-22.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

Sadly, Britain is one of the countries where you pack your bags before going to prison ... I'm all for rehabilitation, but we've got to get it right first ...

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

An incentive for prisoners to try suicide? Sounds good to me.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

Might I remind you we're talking about young offenders here? Or are you insinuating we should encourage kids to commit suicide?

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

No we're not - it's both Young Offendors Institutes (little NEDS (Non-Educated Delinquents who should be shot or herded up onto an island and left to mug and rape one another to death) and ACTUAL prisons.  Actul prisons require the convicts to purcase the consoles for themselves.  These are the same prisons with Sky TV and gourmet chefs making appearances, I might add...

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

I mean hell, I'd be likely to just steal a gun and fire it off in a bank if my life was really downhill if this is how inmates are treated...

And seriously, suicidal inmates? In my opinion, if someone really wants to kill themselves, they should go ahead and do it. They have (in America) the right to life, which also gives them the right to give up that right, right?

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Privileges in UK Prisons

I agree with face777, why are prisoners being given any form of leisure activity?  I do understand that inmates need an outlet to keep their aggressions in check thus keeping an orderly prison but games?  Between the 3 meals a day, games, library, gym class, and conjugal visits I'm starting to wonder who has it better.  Our tax dollars hard at work.


 

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Priveleges in UK Prisons

Absolutely disgusting - they should be stripped of all form of leisure - they're in prison as a punishement, not a fucking Butlins camp holiday.

 

One more example of Brown's dictatorship - he wants the entire populace to be in prison - controlled, regulated, and much more comfortable and cheap than not being inside. Bastard needs to be assassinated.  He'll kill the country by 2010, the very latest he HAS to hold an election, which he knows he will loose.

Re: Suicidal Inmates Granted Video Game Priveleges in UK Prisons

But aren't violent games good as stress releif??? When I had a stressing day at work I pop in State of Emergency and mow down everyone I see and I feel better. :)

 
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Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
 

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