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Mandatory TV Conversion Creates Complications For Prisons

Nymz (905908) writes | more than 5 years ago

Television 12

Over-the-air analog TV is free to be received, and is considered an appropriate method to disseminate news and entertainment to prisoners in order to keep them informed of current events, to keep peace within a very stressful and often violent environment, and to reward and encourage civilized behavior for the day when they are reintegrated into society.Over-the-air analog TV is free to be received, and is considered an appropriate method to disseminate news and entertainment to prisoners in order to keep them informed of current events, to keep peace within a very stressful and often violent environment, and to reward and encourage civilized behavior for the day when they are reintegrated into society.

But some prison officials are struggling with how to pay for the upgrade, brought on by the mandatory digital TV conversion, and others face additional legal hurdles that ban upgrades, because it was assumed there would always be free analog broadcasts available. Read more about - Why U.S. prisons want their digital television.

12 comments

Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889177)

But I'm perfectly OK if prisoners don't get any TV at all.

I don't know if it is still the case, but the jail in San Jose banned not only all tabacco, but all sugar and caffeine as well. So no soda, sweets, or coffee. The recitivisim rate plummeted;-)

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (2, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24890045)

I hear you, I don't want to pay for criminals to have a nice vacation either, but I also don't want them to be released more ignorant, and more violent, than when they went in.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909711)

what they need as a concrete reason to not want to go back to jail.

for example: why do they need TVs, radios, magazines, newspapers, etc...

they are there as punishment for their crimes not on freaking vacation.

lock them in 6 foot by 8 foot cells by themselves, no entertainment, no "play outside in the yard" time, no nothing.

just a plain white walled cell with a 1 way mirror outside the bars on the front so they cant see out but the guards can see every move they make.

im sure after a few years of absolutely no human contact they will have straightened out a bit

and im sure they wont want to go back and do it again.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

AgVulpine (635887) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909943)

what they need is HBO and Showtime.

your idea of prison is slightly warped. it is not a place to punish criminals--it's a place to separate them from society until they cool down.

for punishment, i would much rather take 10 years of torture and daily lashings than 10 years in a solitary confinement space as you described. the simple stimulation of the whip would keep my brain from atrophying and turning me into a lunatic. which, btw, cannot be undone. are you sure those are the type of people you want back on the streets after their sentence?

even keepers of lower primates, in zoos or as pets for example, are federally mandated to provide a strict schedule of mental and physical stimulation in the forms of learning/exercise and entertainment/play. regardless of what a criminal has done, they share the same mental and physical attributes and must be granted sustenance for both. see the geneva convention.

back on topic. while i am extremely edgy about the whole FCC-imposing-digital-upgrades every February for the past 3 years in order to cash in on 13 billion dollars of new licensing fees, i do see this as an eventual win for places like schools and prisons that are barely capable of tuning into 3 channels with rabbit ears and aluminum foil.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24910061)

Sure and a bullet in their head would really reduce recidivism too. We are talking about a basic source for news and basic entertainment, not champagne, hot tubs, and massages. Not only does this keep prisioners connected with the events in the outside world but serves to occupy idle minds. Extreme sensory deprivation like indy Maud'Dib promotes would only serve to turn them into a complete animals who would be even worse on the streets than when they were first incarcerated. Nobody is perfect, people make mistakes. I'm sure if it was someone close to you that found themselves in that unfortunate position you would see things in a different light.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 5 years ago | (#24910707)

I'm all for the solitary confinement, but with and interesting twist - first time offenders get very short sentences - say 6 months for robbery, etc. 2nd time you do 10-15 year (Depending on crime) - 3rd time isn't like current "3 strikes laws" - you are executed within 24 hours of conviction

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (2, Interesting)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24910859)

I'm all for the solitary confinement, but with and interesting twist - first time offenders get very short sentences - say 6 months for robbery, etc. 2nd time you do 10-15 year (Depending on crime) - 3rd time isn't like current "3 strikes laws" - you are executed within 24 hours of conviction

That sounds like a great idea, at first, but in reality we all know that district attorneys, judges, and juries will find it impossible to convict someone if they know it will be their 3rd strike, and their death.

I think prison really needs some forms of rehabilitation, because most people in there are mentally broken in some way. Their sentence shouldn't be based on time, but on whether they are fixed and ready to reintegrate into society.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24916495)

In the county jail here, there was cable tv (and an endless supply of junk food and coffee, and personal radios). There were only a few channels that we weren't allowed to watch, but half the guards just unblocked them and told us not to say anything. Even though I was in there for bullshit regarding what I can or can not put in my own body, I thought it was excessive luxury. But solitary confinement would be extraordinarily out of proportion to the crimes of the majority of inmates, who are in for non-violent drug offenses, DUI, VOP, and small time theft. You seem to be under the impression everyone in jail is there for murder/rape/other violent offenses; and unaware how little effect severity of punishment has as a deterrent in the average criminal, who typically has problems in considering consequences before committing a crime.

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24917067)

im not talking joe jaywalker gets put in the hole.

the tim McVeighs and ted kazinskis however need a nice dark place to sit and be forgotten about

Re:Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age... (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24910973)

Yeah, and you have to think of the poor guys in there, who might have been convicted falsly, or those who really are working there way out of there the right way.

Or those who have loved ones they might want to make sure are safe. Or even those who like their cartoons and that means they'll be happier/calmer that day.

Low power transmitter (1)

Authoritative Douche (1255948) | more than 5 years ago | (#24919233)

Why can't prisons just install a low power analog transmitter to rebroadcast the digital signal from the outside world? No infrastructure changes are necessary.
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