Dungeons and Prisons (and crazy Governors gone bananas)
boy oh boy. you go on one short break and all hell, damnation, and twelve-sided die break loose…
given how prisons, borders, geeks and geography have been frequent themes on the blog, I had to make sure y’all caught wind of (at least) the following two stories.
this gem, from Le New York Times:
Prisons can restrict the rights of inmates to nerd out, a federal appeals court has found.
In an opinion issued on Monday , a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the claims in a lawsuit challenging a ban on the game Dungeons & Dragons by the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.
The suit was brought by a prisoner, Kevin T. Singer, who argued that his First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights were violated by the prison’s decision to ban the game and confiscate his books and other materials, including a 96-page handwritten manuscript he had created for the game.
Mr. Singer, “a D&D enthusiast since childhood,” according to the court’s opinion, was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for bludgeoning and stabbing his sister’s boyfriend to death.
Prison officials said they had banned the game at the recommendation of the prison’s specialist on gangs, who said it could lead to gang behavior and fantasies about escape.
Dungeons & Dragons could “foster an inmate’s obsession with escaping from the real-life correctional environment, fostering hostility, violence and escape behavior,” prison officials said in court. That could make it more difficult to rehabilitate prisoners and could endanger public safety, they said.
The court, which is based in Chicago, acknowledged that there was no evidence of marauding gangs spurred to their acts of destruction by swinging imaginary mauls, but it ruled nonetheless that the prison’s decision was “rationally related” to legitimate goals of prison administration.
Well, and then since we’re all just losing our damn minds, Governor Schwarzenegger figured he’d get in on the crazy
Speaking before the Sacramento Press Club on Monday, the governor suggested that the state’s economic emergency might be offset by shipping prisoners off to Mexico.
Schwarzenegger, who recently announced his intention to privatize California’s dangerously bloated prison system, evidently sees shipping prisoners south of the border as a win-win when it comes to his immigration headaches. Citing the sizable population of undocumented immigrants behind bars in California, the governor briefly described his idea:
“We pay them to build the prisons down in Mexico and then we have those undocumented immigrants be down there in a prison. … And all this, it would be half the cost to build the prisons and half the cost to run the prisons,” Schwarzenegger said, predicting it would save the state $1 billion that could be spent on higher education.
The remarks were met with confusion by state officials, not only because they were, well, confusing, but because it seemed to be the first time anyone had heard about the idea. Apparently, his own spokesman did not know where exactly Schwarzenegger came up with it
Come up with whatever wack-ass schemes need be, but it should be known that, right there with the ex-felons, the geeks shall inherit the earth.
Up Up and Away,
oh, and PS, any band that says “rise through the pain let the sun rise again” and “for today! the everlasting eternal sun!” and has nothing to do with jesus christ, totally rules. share a posi moment with me please:
(that high note in the last 5 seconds in like the most ridiculous and triumphant moment since destroying the One ring at Mount Doom!)