back to article Gov pulls plug on prison PlayStations

Blighty’s cons soon really will be doing hard time. Because the Prison Service has issued a directive banning 18 certificate videogames from prisons, and has also pledged to reform console use inside jails. By 30 September this year, prisons in England and Wales must remove all videogames with an 18 certificate. This’ll be bad …

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Your subheads are always brilliant

Nice reference, "Li-il Alex"

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Anonymous Coward

heh

why doesn't the government buy me a ps3 and an xbox 360? Ahh becouse I havn't knifed someone. I see where I'm going wrong.

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What the f*cking hell?

Why the hell do prisons have any bloody Playstations to begin with?

There are plenty of honest hard working family's that can't afford playstations, yet commit a crime (a serious enough one to actually get into a prison these days - like multiple murder) and you get free access to a playstation?

I thought prisons were supposed to be suitable unpleasant as to make inmates not want to come back for more. Giving free playstations to scum just encourages repeat offenders.

1) Get out there, get a job, and work hard for 20 years and you might just about be able to get onto the propertly ladder with some dingy 1 bedroom flat.

2) Steal some cars, have some fun, make some cash, buy some drugs.... get caught stealing your 50th car.... goto prison for 3 months. Get a rent free room with cleaning service, 3 healthy meals per day, free gym membership, free playstation

Get let out early for good behavior (sounds like a nice relaxing place.... why would you behave badly) ... off you go back to wait for your giro in your crappy council flat ......... "I know I will go and steal another car"

Anyone else see a problem or am I the only person with a brain?

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Coat

Suicide Watch

Well, put it this way, I feel very low in myself. I can't see much in the future, and I feel that any second something terrible is going to happen to me.

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Happy

@ Paul Bruneau

We can but try Paul! Thanks

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Coat

Must be some from of typo

Must be a misprint - that almost looks like Common Sense running freely in the Prison Service.

Not to worry though, I'm sure some of the lags will moan that it breaches their Human Rights and they'll have them back within a couple of weeks - plus a few of the latest games thrown in as an apology.

Mine's the one with the serial number on the back

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Anonymous Coward

Suicide Watch

I guess these crims will be using wireless controllers?

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Pirate

Brain Training!

Forget the consoles - give them all a DS and Brain Training...

Muhahahahaha!

Or Pee Cees loaded with SimCity or Lemmings. But definitely not Worms, Half Life or Unreal Tournament.

Although having said that, allowing them to deathmatch could keep 'em occupied...especially if someone 'skins' the monsters to resemble the warders...

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Not Free

I Would suggest that several of the above individuals need to learn to Read, perhaps one of the governments excellent literacy and learning courses could be of use to them.

It is clearly mentioned that the prisoners have to pay for and supply the games themselves:

"The good news is that Joe Public won’t have to fund cons’ gaming sessions anymore. The spokesman added that each prisoner must have to meet the cost of consoles and videogames themselves, once they’ve earned the right, of course."

"The Prison Service has also decided that only prisoners that have reached the "enhanced" level on its Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme should have access to games consoles."

So not only do they have to behave themselves to get to the highest level of the IEP scheme and continue to behave themselves they also have to earn the money in prison to pay for the goods, at the low levels of money they get for washing the floors and peeling the spuds in the kitchens etc that will take them awhile.

Jeez people read and post articulate and worthwhile comments, I also dont agree that they have no right to this type of entertainment goods, prision is not supposed to be "fun" the minimum i would give em is a TV and thats only if they are on the highest level of the IEP scheme any other levels you get no TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Good timing...

Goodness me! I'm glad I've just completed GTA IV before the ban. Gotta go now as my cell mate wants his mobile back. The 3G signal is poor in here anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Which in turn will lead to a study..

which will lead to the conclusion that the amount of gaming addiction under prison population is disproportionately high, and that the majority of them suffer severe withdrawal and even are considered a suicide risk when they can not play games.

After this another study will look at the results and draw the inevitable conclusion that gaming leads to crime.

Paris, cause she did hard time, and because she likes to play with her box as well.

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@AC

You clearly missed the bit where they said it would not be funded by the government *any more*.

You, sir, are a shining example of why wikipedia fails. Too many obstinate opinions and not enough facts.

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Joe

Re: Not free.

You sound like you could do with attending a literacy course yourself. Why not knifecrime someone? It could be the leg-up you've been wanting all these years.

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Alert

Nicked

"The good news is that Joe Public won’t have to fund cons’ gaming sessions anymore. "

Yes they will, because Joe Public will have his PS stolen by one the jailbird's mates and handed over during visiting time and so will need to buy another one!

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Flame

@misleading headline

At first look - I expected them to be replaced microsoft consoles as we know the govt (tory or labour) will do anything to keep bill G happy.

Reading the actual article - there are more ps3s than xboxs. Flame begins 5..4..3..2..1.

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Why not give them all consoles?

Given the amount of problems with prison violence, depression, overcrowding and other issues that are associated with being confined to a tiny cell for 12+ hours a day, why are games consoles not standard issue in prisons?

Getting prisoners hooked on video games would end up saving money in the long run due to less injuries, violence, self harm, guards required etc...

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Anonymous Coward

put them to work

I want them out on a chain gang digging diches, painting fences, rubbish collection, street sweeping. And I want this done in the same community as they live so they can serve as a warning and all their friends ridicule them.

Only people in the UK really 'winning' these days are govt employees and criminals.....

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hmmmmm - stop s**t stirring reg!

1: only some prisons will have Playstations.. they will be owned by the individuals. the vast majority of prisons dont even have leccy in their cells!

2: young offenders arent the same as adult criminals.. some can be as young as 14 - do you seriously want to treat them like total shit? will that help them become better people? also you may have remand prisoners - who actually havent been proven guilty of anything.. should they be treated like shit too?

@ "1) Get out there, get a job, and work hard for 20 years and you might just about be able to get onto the propertly ladder with some dingy 1 bedroom flat.

2) Steal some cars, have some fun, make some cash, buy some drugs.... get caught stealing your 50th car.... goto prison for 3 months. Get a rent free room with cleaning service, 3 healthy meals per day, free gym membership, free playstation

Get let out early for good behavior (sounds like a nice relaxing place.... why would you behave badly) ... off you go back to wait for your giro in your crappy council flat ......... "I know I will go and steal another car"

Anyone else see a problem or am I the only person with a brain?"

1 - yes working is easy - a few months in clink really isnt (i know most of you IT bods dont get much sex but for those of us that did no nooky for months is bloody hard lol!)- time passes REALLY slowly when you are banged up in a cell 23 hours a day - you have to get up at 7am every day and clean your own cell. "3 healthy meals per day" - yeah right... maybe 1 a day if lucky... would you eat prison porridge? "free playstation" - as i have said this isnt something normal criminals would get - unless they bring their own in... and only certain nicks even have leccy... dont worry we arent funding it!

"Get let out early for good behavior (sounds like a nice relaxing place.... why would you behave badly)" thats a normal thing.. under 2 years you get 1/2 of your time as you spend the other 1/2 on like a good behavior scheme.. fuck up and straight back in to finsh the other 1/2. over 2 years its discressionary

no offence mate but most of the IT people here would cry themselves to sleep every night. violence is a daily occurance (you wouldnt even like to know some of the shit i have seen). please dont always take everything you read as red. the reg seems to be more and more like the red-tops with their massively biased reporting or issues.

of course the main problem is that the gov pay some jails to be run by private companies.. so your average shop lifter gets hard time in a state jail whereas the psychos get easy life in jails like leeds (leccy, proper beds, duvets, £40/week spending money ffs [compared to 2.50/week in state jails]!) i had no leccy, a bed that wasnt even as wide as me and the bed was stained in the blood of where the previous bloke had had his throat slashed... see? there are 2 sides to every story!

also you have to look at what keeps a happy jail. i spent about a year in HMP liverpool (horrible massive jail) - they had a mass riot just because they ran out of tobacco for a week! wrecked the place!

keep cons mellow and distracted = easier time for screws and a lot less stress... and believe me... you dont want that lot stressed out!

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well said AC

"So not only do they have to behave themselves to get to the highest level of the IEP scheme and continue to behave themselves they also have to earn the money in prison to pay for the goods, at the low levels of money they get for washing the floors and peeling the spuds in the kitchens etc that will take them awhile." - at £2.50 week it may well take years to buy one...

i think its a good thing to give rewards to well behaved people. remember not everyone in clink is a bad person... ffs even stephen fry has done some bird (pardon the pun). surely rewarding good behavior with, shock horror, allowing people to buy things for themselves... whatever next? allowing them phonecalls? where will it stop!

it does prove that many people on here read a headline and nothing else, then fire their mouths off.

as someone who has done some bird (plenty more than mr fry lol) i agree that not evetryone should get the niceties.. it should be a reward for being well behaved...

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Boffin

@Luke Wells, Sleeping Dragon and the rest of the "Hang 'em and flog ' em" brigade

You're obviously not aware that somewhere north of two-thirds of the people in Britain's fine nicks are in some way, shape or form, completely hatstand - bonkers, absolutely fruit-loop, away with the fairies, call it what you will - while a fifth have gone *way* beyond the insanity horizon ("have four of the five major mental health disorders"[1]).

Fifty years ago, the UK had some 150000 mental health beds: nowadays, the number's about a tenth of that. For a bunch of the people who were in asylums, Care in the Community was the right thing to do - after all they could, when supported, cope in the outside world. However, a significant number of those people who would previously have spent most or all of their lives in an asylum are now mostly in and out of the prison system - which is spectacularly unsuited for them (when what you need is specialist psychiatric care deivered by trained health care professionals, a bunch of over-worked screws isn't really going to cut the mustard).

So: we've got a bunch of people who (essentially) live in prison because there's nowhere else to put them. Assuming for a moment that we're not going down the route of exterminating the feeble-minded, this isn't going to change any time soon. Still feel that they should be sat picking oakum or turning a treadmill?

Reference: [1] Paul Goggins, minister for prisons and probation speaking in a debate on prisons and mental health, Hansard, 17 March 2004. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040317/halltext/40317h03.htm#40317h03_spmin0

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For the love of god...

Which one of you vultures let the bloody Daily Mail in here?

You've got to keep that door locked or they 'll find their way in.

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Coat

@ Not Free

Or perhaps your reading is somewhat substandard:

"The good news is that Joe Public won’t have to fund cons’ gaming sessions anymore." ANYMORE means that Joe Public has been footing the bill until now and will most likely continue while these poor locked up souls appeal their human rights in Europe.

"The Prison Service has also decided that only prisoners that have reached the "enhanced" level on its Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme should have access to games consoles." Again this means that currently they don't have to be at that level to enjoy the games.

Finally, "the minimum i would give em is a TV and thats only if they are on the highest level of the IEP scheme any other levels you get no TV." The MINIMUM? Shurely shome mishtake... The word I believe you are looking for is Maximum. Bit of a difference there. Articulate perhaps, but far from worthwhile.

Other than the above, I agree with your sentiments exactly.

Mine's the one with 'Pedant' very neatly and correctly embroidered on the back.

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@Liam

> i agree that not evetryone should get the niceties.. it should be a reward for being well behaved...

Sod that. The only reward for being well-behaved should be that you get out when the judge said you would.

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Anonymous Coward

I would have them...

If I were the warden, I'd have the prisoners playing WoW all day, and sell the proceeds on ebay...

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Go

RE: Simon Painter

Once again you just go and show your own ignorance i quote from parlimentary questions under the freedom of information act from the Lords:

20 Apr 2007 : Column WA109

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Prison Service spent the following amounts on in-cell television sets in the last three years: 2005-06 £763,472; 2004-05 £1,008,819; and 2003-04 £1,107,190.

Public funds are not used to support the purchase of television sets used in cells. These costs are covered by the weekly rental paid by prisoners for the use of the sets. Some prisons may purchase radios or compact disc players, and Sony PlayStations, from surplus funds generated from prisoner-related activities. The details of these purchases are not held centrally and cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost. Radios or compact disc players, and Sony PlayStations and all other forms of electronic game consoles, may be bought by prisoners from their own money.

Prisoners are not allowed to purchase mobile phones.

you might have to dig around on the following page:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70420w0003.htm

The only time that they have bought them is for young offenders institutions and as other posters have commented:

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/27871/15000-spent-on-prison-consoles

An in answer to Cavehomme have you ever tried to take anything into prison for people, frankly have you ever been into a prison as a visitor, its pretty tough getting things like that in, well give or take the odd mobile phone and kilo or two of drugs!!!!

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Go

@ Joe

Nice mate just read that, i might be posting anonmously but that doesnt mean it gives you the right to suggest that I can improve my situation by stabbing someone.

Perhaps you could do with some more empathy lessons paid for by the government of course.

First to admit where I have made mistakes and perhaps I was a little rash at posting using the language I did but this kind of reporting and the knee jerk reactions of people that have been posted here drive me mad, there is always more going on if you just investigate it, 20 minutes wandering around on the net and i found that report from the lords that actually says the government does not spend any public funds on providing gaming system to prisoners.

Facts people they are out there people have a check and see what other info you can find, lets have a scrap with URL's to prove our respective points!!!

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@Jon Kale

Closing the asylums was an abysmal display of political correctness. I am the decendent of what you would call a hostpital family, both my parents we mental health nurses, we lived literally a stones throw from Hill End.

The kids of hospital families mostly knew each other and we spent most of our days playing in the vast grounds of the various hospitals.

I remember they moved a group of old folk (I think 5) from st marys I think within 3 months they'd all died, you live 40 years in an institution you get used to things a certain way (heat, food, people, times and places) change is often devestating. There are probably quite a fwe more examples of that out there.

It's sad that these people end up in the criminal system instead of where they belong, long term mental health care.

In St Albans they went from maybe 3 institutions (Hill End, Cell Barns and Napsbury) to 1 ward (Albany Lodge) I worked in mental health a while. I wouldn't do it as a career though, not enough money, too much paper work, and the world and its dog hate the mental health profession and the more often then not the people they care for too.

O well.

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Gates Horns

Long live the 360... down with the PS3 (LOL)

Well, Micro$not must be chuffed. What with their recent price cut on the Xbox 360, and Sony refraining from following suit with their Playstuffed 3. It now means that 360 will be so much more affordable for those hard-up crims.

This surely means MS will gain a massive lead in the console war, and sales of the 360 will outstrip those of the PS3.

So, what I want to know now is, do they get a bog standard CRT TV to play the console on, or a huge HD LCD/Plasma TV, to take full advantage of the 360's superior (PS3 beating) graphics?

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Coat

Why no Nintendo's in prison cells?

Because cons already have to Wii in their slop buckets on a daily basis :)

Mines the black and white one with arrows on it.

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Black Helicopters

655321 does not exist

> No videogames unless you earn it, 655321

??

655321 would have died of old age around the time of the 2nd World War.

They ran out of numbers and went alphanumeric long ago: first in the form:

A99999

And, these days. England and Wales prison numbers are in the form:

AA9999

eg

CF0673

Let's have a bit of research before making up subheadings in future. please.

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Coat

Re: 655321 does not exist

"Let's have a bit of research before making up subheadings in future. please."

The wooshing sound you hear was a popular media reference flying over your head at high velocity.

Here's another number for you: 978-0141182605 - hint: it's an ISBN number. It'll help you understand where '655321' came from.

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Silver badge
Coat

Re: 655321 does not exist

Doesn't exist, hu? Well, I saw him yesterday, he was busy listening some nice piece by Ludwig van.

Now who'd better do some research before posting?

Other than that, not to be a pedant but you'll find that it's actually quite difficult to "run out of numbers", as you state it. Now if you want to keep the size constant that's another problem.

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holy mixed messages pr@tman

what about all the theories that gaming MUST be a cause of violence along with rap music???

Convenient how that is forgotten by the same government that tells us that BS when they justify things like this because letting them commit virtual violence will reduce the chance of them committing real violence...

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Bronze badge

re: Anyone else see a problem or am I the only person with a brain?

You are so right! You should go to Jail, go directly to Jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. It is so cool in Prison! Prisoners love it so much they have to put guards on the walls to stop people from breaking in! Big doors with locks are normal at prisons!

Police work all day identifying the innocent people to stop them getting into prison, because everyone wants to get in. Crim's in hospitals beg their doctors to give them special release so that they can go back to prison!

Waited on hand-and-foot! They don't even have to open their own doors in prison - when they want to go the restaurant, they just wait until some lackey comes to open the door, and then they don't even have to choose what food to eat. And when they've finished that they don't even have to chose which mind-numbing direct-to-cable in-depth move-length tribute to a 1970's American TV actor who died 2 years ago to watch on the single minimum-cost special copy-right paid channel (bastards: how come they get free cable?) before retiring to their toilet to spend 14 hours in conditions Baden-Powell would have approved of!

And you would so fit in with the culture there! Most of the people there are extremely brainy like you!

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Anonymous Coward

No Title!

>I want them out on a chain gang digging diches, painting fences, rubbish collection, street sweeping.<

No, no, no, that's going to be the unemployed peoples job - or are you saying, unemployed people are just like criminals? :-)

£2.50 wages a week means about three years (assuming you don't smoke, buy toothpaste / soap / papers etc), so I'm assuming it means private money which the family send in, so...

>Yes they will, because Joe Public will have his PS stolen by one the jailbird's mates and handed over during visiting time and so will need to buy another one!<

QFT!

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Anonymous Coward

thanks for the laugh at least

"Giving free playstations to scum just encourages repeat offenders."

There should be a special name for leaps of reason like this. It's just great Daily Mail logic.

One can only wish that the people who consider prisons to be holiday camps would just go and holiday in them. I'd like to see all the frowny faces they'd tick on their hotel customer satisfaction survey.

COMMENTS: Breakfast rubbish. Everyone in your hotel seems violent and terrifying. Would appreciate some kind of room safe for such valuables as my self respect, innocence and anal virginity. Nice view! *smiley face* xo xo xo

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Anonymous Coward

Just start whislting the theme tune to MASH

and the WII is yours.

Jail is ridiculous for most of the people in it, I have known someone who went in for a kicking, so valid, but from his account most people in Jail are there due to controlled substance charges.

Now, of course drugs are bad if you make sure the law will punish, but London use to have the opium dens, and gin for the kids, and well things looked quite charming back in those days.

Legalize the drugs, which should never have been made illegal, and then let's see if that improves society overall.

Most violent crime is being lead by Yardies, and it is because they have the ability to sell drugs in this country. Most drugs can be manufactured in this country quite cheaply, and I would even go so far as to sponsor communes where people could just produce their own. What the hell, better than having to pay for jails, and building up a section of society that will bare great resentment.

We have some real idiots in positions of responsibility in this country, in some ways it would make more sense to imprison them, and let a bit of a good natural anarchy, order the place.

Each generation should make their own laws, scrap all the old ones, and create new ones, perhaps every year or so, that would be the responsible position. I bet murder, rape and assault would always be there as crimes, but a lot of the laws would not be. Really it should be about hedonism, and not infringing on other's right, unfortunately respect is the problem. Those who seek respect are perhaps the most socially maladjusted individuals out there.

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Coat

@Luke Wells

An alternative reality better than any play station is to lock up people who have evidenced a disability of coping wuith society.

There they can show respect to figures of authority who can't get real jobs themselves. The sort of people you wouldn't want to meet in reality let alone respect.

Then you can be isolated for years, with no idea what reality is really like and then get shoved out into reality -with no buffer zone.

And they won't be allowed to fit into it if they wanted to, or -get this> > suddenly found out how.

Giving people like that play stations is either a good idea or a very bad one.

Then again when you are locked up 24/7 and can only do menial work for some 6 or 7 hours of any day of it and nothing on the weekends (You ever tried doing nothing for a long time? It soon gets repetative.) and the alternative is watching Coronation Street or Big Brother In Potty Prison...

Are they allowed to watch TV after 9 pm?

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Stop

ER: 655321

A real man's number and it is official:

666.

But let me slip off the topic just a little and ask what proportion of a civilised society that hasn't failed, belongs in prison.

Is it 1/3 of the male population perhaps? Should a society that works have, say, 10% of its population criminally certified or certifyable?

What is a reasonable proportion of any country's population that you can say belongs in prison or may have been in prison, if they are not in prison already; before you begin to think: "Hey; there is something worng with this."?

Is it 1 in 10, 1 in 100 or what? Seriously, what is reasonable?

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Flame

@ Liam

Oh noes! No nooky for several months! Quick- call a counsellor now! BWAHHHHH!

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@ Oh noes! No nooky for several months! Quick- call a counsellor now! BWAHHHHH!

spoken like a true IT professional... do you live at home still may i ask?

as mentioned before the vast majority of people in nick are there for drugs... how can you sentance someone to 18 months for supplying substances less harmful than you can find in tesco? not everyone in jail is a rapist or murderer... there are plenty of 'political prisoners' in there (i.e. crimes without any victim - but which are deemed 'we dont like that' by the gov and the fu**ing daily heil readers)

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nice

I work my arse off and still cant really afford to shell out on a ps3, but if i get banged up ill get given one to use..

sweet

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Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Wrong number, wrong prisoner

"Who is Number One?"

"You are Number Six."

"I am not a number — I am a free man!"

"No you're not, you're a very naughty boy and I'm taking your PS3 away!"

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Happy

The old in-out in-out.

If I had a PS3 and I was in prison and barred from playing 18+ games, I'd get something like Barbie Horse Adventures and play it nonstop. I wouldn't say a word to everyone else unless required, just play Barbie's Horse Adventure with the volume as loud as allowed.

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Coat

A different spin.

Give all the prisoners a Xbox360. That is a pretty good punishment...

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Stop

@Luke Wells

" 1) Get out there, get a job, and work hard for 20 years and you might just about be able to get onto the propertly ladder with some dingy 1 bedroom flat. "

Luke, this is not exactly true. I was stupid in my earlier years and spent a short time inside (6 months of an 18 month sentence). I quickly realised that prison was not for me and it is definitely not a walk in the park that is portrayed (and I was in a semi-open prison).

17 years on and 17 years of extremely hard work, I consider myself reformed and down to nothing but determination and hard work I now own a lovely 5 bedroom modern house and a 2 year old Porsche. Do you?

The prison system will work if you want it to work but like anything else (giving up smoking, drugs, crime) you have got to want to make the change.

I have posted anon as sadly there is a huge stigma attached with serving time regardless of whether you are reformed or not. For those of us who do change this follows you around for life.

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Happy

Ha, ha, almost!

<assume tone of voice of Comic Book Shop Guy from The Simpsons>

Ahem, I believe you will find that 655321 was the prisoner number in the film. In the original book the number was 6655321, ergo it assumes precedence.

</end of impersonation>

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Coat

Re: A different spin.

"Give all the prisoners a Xbox360. That is a pretty good punishment..."

Certainly adds a new dimension of horror to the phrase "Red rings of death" ...

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I want a PS3

Should I go mug someone so I can play GTA IV?

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Am I the only confused one?

"banning 18 certificate videogames"

"young offender institutions"

Is it not illegal for young offenders (those under 18) to be supplied with and allowed to play these games? Is not the current plan to now put their parents in jail also?

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