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Old 11-12-2018, 02:20 AM   #16
pastanley
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
This policy is outrageous. Reading material should be free for inmates. Policies like this only help to further alienate and antagonize inmates who'll eventually return to society feeling resentful and very ticked off.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want angry ex-cons being released into society.

(btw, this thread should be moved to the P&R forum)
Most "cons" are in prison because their illiterate.. Felons dont read books. Felons/cons will always be angry because we do not negotiate their demands. Their in prison for a reason.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:37 AM   #17
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Most "cons" are in prison because their illiterate.. Felons dont read books. Felons/cons will always be angry because we do not negotiate their demands. Their in prison for a reason.
The reason may have nothing to do with the crime for which they were sentenced and did not commit. The legal system in every country makes more mistakes than is generally admitted. Such people have a right to be angry.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:33 AM   #18
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Most "cons" are in prison because their illiterate.. Felons dont read books. Felons/cons will always be angry because we do not negotiate their demands. Their in prison for a reason.
How fortunate that poor literacy is not a crime!
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:33 AM   #19
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In general, advocacy pieces in newspapers tend to tell only the info that helps their side of the argument. Reading between the lines, it seems that there was a problem with people using books to smuggle in contraband such as drugs. Yes, it is a pity that some bad eggs ruined the program for everyone else.

It sounds like he prison system tried to come up with a way for prisoners to still read books sent to them specifically while avoiding the contraband issue, ebooks. Perhaps that solution isn't perfect, but I give them some credit for trying. Many prisons have some sort of library as well and this program seems to only applies to specific books sent to specific inmates rather than generally available books.

Here is a link to a story about the program.

https://slate.com/technology/2018/09...ns-ebooks.html

In this, they do reference that they are trying to improve the library provided to inmates by allowing groups to donate to the prison library rather than directly to specific inmates and that prisoners can buy additional ebooks if they wish.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:37 PM   #20
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Here is a link to a story about the program.

https://slate.com/technology/2018/09...ns-ebooks.html

In this, they do reference that they are trying to improve the library provided to inmates by allowing groups to donate to the prison library rather than directly to specific inmates and that prisoners can buy additional ebooks if they wish.
If you look at the update, they've returned to allowing books from approved organizations and families can also contribute books as previously done. Yes, people are in prison for a reason - in many cases it's because they are addicts.

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Old 11-12-2018, 02:58 PM   #21
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How fortunate that poor literacy is not a crime!
That anyone anywhere in the world in this day and age should be illiterate should be considered a crime in itself (IMO). Not on the part of the citizen so much as on the part of the governments that don't do something about it.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:01 PM   #22
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Most "cons" are in prison because their illiterate.. Felons dont read books. Felons/cons will always be angry because we do not negotiate their demands. Their in prison for a reason.
Actually being illiterate means having limited choices in life and so people turn to illegal means by which to try getting ahead. At least that's my take on things. Promoting literacy may not do away with all crime but it could certainly help to a degree. The problem is that most ads that offer help are written ads. If the ads were video ads where people talked about where to go to get help maybe things would change for the better.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:02 PM   #23
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Sounds like the Playaway Lock ereader -- preloaded, no connectivity, limited selection and pay through the nose either up front or annual renewals. Hey, if it is good enough for the USMC, USAF and US Navy, it's good enough for criminals.
From Chicago last week:

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/201...theres-a-catch

Quote:
Detainees at the Lake County jail soon will get something quite a bit more extravagant: tablet computers.

The county recently struck a deal with Texas-based Securus Technologies for 600 tablets that will be distributed to inmates for free. They can be used to make phone calls and video visits, search for jobs, research the law, and view educational and mental health materials.

Inmates also can access a limited amount of free music, games, movies and books, and buy "premium" content, including additional entertainment.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:12 PM   #24
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In my own country prisoners are allowed a limited number of books and magazines but it is not unrestricted in type or the getting. Before admittance of them to the prison they have to be asked for and preapproved. Also all prisons have a library which is tailored to the type of prisoners incarcerated such as age, gender, remand, security level, literacy, etc.. The common policy of the prison libraries includes a reference to the care and security of the books in the risky environment.

I would have thought that US prisons would have libraries too, perhaps not but I would be surprised if not (in fact the article refers to prison libraries). In my country public libraries will often inter-loan books to other libraries if a locally asked for book is not available. I would suspect that a prisoner with a special request, and their behavior and the book type allowing, could make such a request through the prison library - is that not possible in the USA? That may only be in quite special cases here though due to the risk to the book.

Regarding prisoners themselves. Some years back while I was doing a consulting assignment for a big video production company they were making a half hour documentary about a prisoner rehabilitation project involving inmates learning a particular craft. I went along with the crew on prison visits and we could mix and talk without restriction with groups of low and medium security prisoners. Even though they would have represented the more trusted inmates I came away with a better understanding as to why there were rules that may seem unfair, but which are likely entirely relevant to prisoners who struck me as generally being untrustworthy and losers, unused to or not recognizing societies rules, and inclined to take selfish advantages of "fairness".

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Old 11-13-2018, 06:25 AM   #25
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In my own country prisoners are allowed a limited number of books and magazines but it is not unrestricted in type or the getting. Before admittance of them to the prison they have to be asked for and preapproved. Also all prisons have a library which is tailored to the type of prisoners incarcerated such as age, gender, remand, security level, literacy, etc.. The common policy of the prison libraries includes a reference to the care and security of the books in the risky environment.

I would have thought that US prisons would have libraries too, perhaps not but I would be surprised if not (in fact the article refers to prison libraries). In my country public libraries will often inter-loan books to other libraries if a locally asked for book is not available. I would suspect that a prisoner with a special request, and their behavior and the book type allowing, could make such a request through the prison library - is that not possible in the USA? That may only be in quite special cases here though due to the risk to the book.

Regarding prisoners themselves. Some years back while I was doing a consulting assignment for a big video production company they were making a half hour documentary about a prisoner rehabilitation project involving inmates learning a particular craft. I went along with the crew on prison visits and we could mix and talk without restriction with groups of low and medium security prisoners. Even though they would have represented the more trusted inmates I came away with a better understanding as to why there were rules that may seem unfair, but which are likely entirely relevant to prisoners who struck me as generally being untrustworthy and losers, unused to or not recognizing societies rules, and inclined to take selfish advantages of "fairness".
Most American prisons do indeed have libraries. At issue was books sent to individual prisoners which some prisoners used to smuggle in drugs.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:38 AM   #26
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Most American prisons do indeed have libraries. At issue was books sent to individual prisoners which some prisoners used to smuggle in drugs.
That's apparently a big problem in British prisons too. Paper is nice and absorbent and pages can be soaked in a solution of drugs and then dried out. I believe that in many British prisons, books can be sent to prisoners directly from places like Amazon but not taken in by friends or relatives.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #27
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...At issue was books sent to individual prisoners which some prisoners used to smuggle in drugs.
Yes I was well aware of that and it is a problem here and everywhere else too I would expect (and with other things too, so there are controls on toiletries, for example). I thought I gave clear first hand experience indicating (as a generality) my impression of the untrustworthiness of prisoners.

If you read the article it does come across as a beat-up by a non-profit "library" and claims prisoners are denied access, in Pennsylvania anyway, to anything other than a very limited number of titles from electronic books sellers (and so, one assumes, the complaining non-profit goes out of "business"). Being a beat-up it would seem sensible to question the veracity of their claim rather than just accept it at face value.

So, as I mentioned, does that mean that a prisoner who has demonstrated appropriate behavior and has a special need (such as reference material while studying for a university degree) is denied access to that material in non-electronic format?

As I pointed out here there is an inter-loan service between libraries and should a book required by an appropriate prisoner for reference while undertaking formal study not be available in the prison library then it would likely be made available from another. For the sake of clarity by library I mean a formal library such as a city, national, university, etc., not one provided by the likes of a non-profit organization. Is such or similar opportunity for appropriate prisoners with a genuine need for material not the case in the USA, including Pennsylvania?

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Old 11-13-2018, 09:40 PM   #28
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Yes I was well aware of that and it is a problem here and everywhere else too I would expect (and with other things too, so there are controls on toiletries, for example). I thought I gave clear first hand experience indicating (as a generality) my impression of the untrustworthiness of prisoners.

If you read the article it does come across as a beat-up by a non-profit "library" and claims prisoners are denied access, in Pennsylvania anyway, to anything other than a very limited number of titles from electronic books sellers (and so, one assumes, the complaining non-profit goes out of "business"). Being a beat-up it would seem sensible to question the veracity of their claim rather than just accept it at face value.

So, as I mentioned, does that mean that a prisoner who has demonstrated appropriate behavior and has a special need (such as reference material while studying for a university degree) is denied access to that material in non-electronic format?

As I pointed out here there is an inter-loan service between libraries and should a book required by an appropriate prisoner for reference while undertaking formal study not be available in the prison library then it would likely be made available from another. For the sake of clarity by library I mean a formal library such as a city, national, university, etc., not one provided by the likes of a non-profit organization. Is such or similar opportunity for appropriate prisoners with a genuine need for material not the case in the USA, including Pennsylvania?
Yes, many prisons have a formal library and yes, individual prisoners can get special books if they show they are trust worthy and have a need. How things are handled at maximum security prisons and how they are handled at lesser security prisons are rather different, of course.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:29 PM   #29
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Yes, many prisons have a formal library and yes, individual prisoners can get special books if they show they are trust worthy and have a need. How things are handled at maximum security prisons and how they are handled at lesser security prisons are rather different, of course.
That is what I thought likely.

Therefore the claims in the article that only possession of a tablet and purchase of eBooks from "a private company" will give inmates access to books is just a beat-up then. Perhaps a more rewarding and interesting article would have been about the adequacy or not of the books available in US prison libraries (and in particular Pennsylvanian ones), whether sufficient or not and range of titles.

I only know the size of one prison library here and it has around 18,000 books for a male prison population of approx. 600 inmates, which seems not too shabby on the face of it. The big majority of prisoners borrow at least fortnightly and around half at least weekly so, on the face of it, the books held are likely popular (and puts a lie to the claims of some that prison inmates are mostly illiterate - the prison referred to is both medium and maximum security, so a cross section).

I would be surprised if US prison libraries were significantly worse off, but I have no information.

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Old 11-14-2018, 09:51 AM   #30
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Books to Prisoners, an organization run by the bookstore Left Bank Books, has been accumulating lists of banned books in various prisons for years. You can see the information here: http://www.bookstoprisoners.net/banned-book-lists/.

In my state, for example, everything from How to Draw Birds to Fifty Shades of Gray are banned. Sure, there is also a ton of stuff on the list that is pornography or clearly violent, etc. But I do know that the list is not static. A warden can see a book come in and decide only after the prisoner has paid for it that it is going on the banned list. It is confiscated and the prisoner doesn't get his book or his money back.
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