The Melbourne Youth Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia is under fire this morning for allowing juvenile offenders access to violent video games and DVDs. Community Services Minister Lisa Neville is certainly listening to complaints from crime victims groups and child experts; she has called for an investigation and ordered that such material being immediately confiscated.
The fervor over this came after a Sun Herald report that youths in the facility were playing games like Grand Theft Auto and watching "real life crime shows" on "Pay TV." So how did they get access to this content? Apparently the staff at the facility were using games, DVDs and Pay TV as bribes to encourage "good behavior."
Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, commenting on a story from the Sun Herald, said that there "was evidence that exposure to violent video games had a negative effect on behaviour." Of course what that evidence is was not disclosed – as is usually the case with so-called experts covering the correlation between video games and violent behavior. Homicide Victims Support Group spokeswoman Janine Greening described the whole ordeal as a "betrayal of crime victims," and called for television to be censored.
The government promises swift action if guidelines have in fact been violated, but an unnamed staff member at the facility confirmed that games were being played as recently as "last week" and added that the cause of this whole controversy has more to do with staff being afraid of inmates and less to do with good behavior.
Source: Herald Sun