Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game Consoles?

May 14, 2009 -

The debate over whether prison inmates should be allowed video game consoles is one that surfaces periodically.

But the head of Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency offered a new twist this week when SOCA director-general Bill Hughes claimed that jailed crime lords were controlling their illicit empires via Internet-enabled video game consoles. U.K. newspaper the Times reported Hughes's comments:

If you are locked up, how do you communicate with others? And we have been highlighting the fact it is not always with mobile telephones. There is other technology used — people are using PlayStations to charge their mobile phones and are playing games interactively with others, so are able to communicate with them.

The Prison Service is concerned that prisoners are using interactive games to talk to people outside the prison. Communication is the name of the game and criminals are looking to exploit new technologies. Prisoners have rights and they have access to the internet...

U.K. prison officials, however, expressed outrage over Hughes's remarks, which apparently caught them off-guard. A spokesman for the Prison Service told the Times:

Prisoners have never been allowed access to wireless enabled technology such as that used in some games consoles. Nor would they ever be allowed access to such technology.

A decision was taken some years ago that the then-current generation of games consoles should be barred because the capability to send or receive radio signals is an integral part of the equipment.

Although the Times mentions that SOCA chief Hughes later apologized privately to prison boss Phil Wheatley, the newspaper also reports that SOCA is standing by its original claim.

As GamePolitics has previously reported, U.K. prisons allow inmates with good behavior to use game consoles. Potentially suicidal inmates are also permitted to play.

Via: Kotaku


Comments

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

I, unlike Austin Lewis who seemingly enjoys kicking it with correctional officers, avoid law authority as much as possible. I ain't voluntarily speaking with 5-0 about a thing. Where I'm from, you don't roll like that unless you wanna get labeled a "snitch" and get murked behind that bullshit. If I can point you along a breadcrumb trail to something, I'll happily do so. But we can't be seriously talking about my need to refute Austin Lewis' heresay about what some C.O. in some Podunk Prison told him, are we? 

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

It's getting a little tight in here.

That's fine then, you don't want verify something because your aversion to po-lice and any article you find online probably won't be 'authentic' enough for you. I'll just let the matter rest, if you happen to be to get thrown in jail remember to ask someone, I'll be sure to do the same.

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

I'll gladly search for on-line support for the fact that "shiv" went out of style the same time "groovy" did. I'll post anything I find at the foot of this thread.

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

o_O Because surprise buttsecks in prison is an institution, not an anomaly?

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

Why haven't jails installed Cellular Inhibitors yet?  You'd think that'd be a smart move in the attempts to cut down on inmates using cell phones...

And a better question is if they're not using their cell phones to get online with the console, how are they getting online?

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

So don't allow internet in prison.....

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

So don't allow entertainment in prison! These people are getting all the luxuries of law-abiding citizens? What's the point of jail, again? Oh, that's right...PUNISHMENT! But that's inhumane, to separate a man from his PS3. Cruel and unusual? Give me a break.

Don't drop the Wiimote...

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

A console is hardly saomething that makes up for not seeing the outside world for several years.

The main point though is that there are practical reasons for this.  Allowing certain privilidges is a convenient way to keep order.  The well behaved prisoners get to play games.  If they start acting up, you can take it away.  Much less hassle than solitary, and having both carrot and stick gives the warders more options. 

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

Yup, yup. All the luxuries of law-abiding citizens (and law-breaking citizens who get away with it). Except for, you know, strolling through the park, going to theme parks, carnivals, and circuses, and sex. Did I mention the part about being in a prison?

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

"and sex"

I thought they were allowed conjugal visits.

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Re: Do U.K. officials have too much free time on their hands?

I'll just accept that your post was made in the context of your name, in which case, I agree.

Re: Are Jailed Crime Bosses Controlling Empires Via Game ...

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