Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in Manitoba Jail

August 22, 2011 -

The Winnipeg police union is up in arms over inmates at Headingley Correctional Centre in Manitoba having access to Grand Theft Auto IV... in 2008. The union calls the situation "absolutely disgusting" and says that prisoners were treated to a game that glorifies violence, crime and cop-killing.

Grand Theft Auto IV was one of many video games available to inmates at the Headingley Correctional Centre. The games were purchased by staff members who had the power to buy whatever games they wanted. Greg Skelly, Superintendent at the Headingley Correctional Centre, says that once the game was discovered by his office, it was quickly pulled.

"In 2008, that particular game was discovered here and it was pulled that very day," Greg Skelly, the facility's superintendent, said in an interview Friday with the Toronto Sun. "Our staff would have made an error in purchasing it. Our inmates obviously aren't going to the store and buying these games."

Skelly did not have specifics about how long the game was available, but added "I don't think it was very long."

Winnipeg Police Association president Mike Sutherland said that he was happy to hear that the game was quickly removed, but wondered why it was purchased in the first place.

"I'm alarmed that it happened in the first place... Certainly it's a mistake, but I look at it from a common-sense perspective, and it doesn't make any sense," he said. The local head of a taxpayer watchdog group agrees, and offers some sassy comments on the matter.

"It's pretty shocking. You'd think the name Grand Theft Auto sums it up pretty well," said Colin Craig, Prairie director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. "It's pretty disappointing that this would be in a provincial jail, a game featuring shooting police and innocent people."

Craig recently blasted the Headingley jail after an ex-guard leaked details about the perks that inmates enjoy at the jail which includes video games and big-screen TVs.

"I don't think anyone minds if inmates have a deck of playing cards or magazines after a hard day of cleaning up a park -- not high-end video games," he said.

Skelly said the institution has changed its policies on purchasing video games. The facility no longer purchases "Mature" rated games. Now everything must be rated "E" or "Teen." Most of the games they have purchased since that incident in 2008 are sports-themed, he added.

Source: Toronto Sun. Image via.


Comments

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

So I guess the Winnipeg Police Union would rather have the prisoners kill police officers in real life than in a video game...

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

The first problem with your statement is that you assume that inmates want to kill police officers.

The second problem with your statement is that you assume that those who want to kill police officers would be satiated by doing so virtually.

The third problem with your statement is that you need to calm the crap down and think through what you are writing.

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

Yes, yes, and yes. There are inmates that want to kill inmates, there are inmates who would, if doing so virtually, would be less likely to do it in real life, and obviously, you are a troll.

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

If we want to punish inmates, there should be a selection of games: Bullet Witch, Desert Bus, X-Blades, Rogue Warrior. OR give them My Horse and Me and other games aimed at girls.

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

I was thinking how I don't think prisoners should get the luxury of video games, then I read that they pretty much just get new versions of madden every year. So I feel better. Can I send them a copy of the next Pixar movie port?

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

It's nice to see that Headingly is still the nations punching bag, no matter what the case.

Back when i was managing EB Games, i dealt with the person from a different prison, who was in charge of buying things like this for prisoners. All I can say is that this story is soooo far from fact, that it's not worth going into. Some idiot reporter thought he found another way to take a shot at headingly, and he did just that.

Personally i'm sick of it.

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

I'm not that concerned over fictional depictions of cop-killings, mainly because of the real-life bad apples who get off nearly scot-free thanks to their Mafia's code of Omerta Blue Wall of Silence, like those two cops who were recently acquitted of a 2008 rape, shortly before another cop rapes a woman at gunpoint.

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

"Winnipeg Police Association president Mike Sutherland said that he was happy to hear that the game was quickly removed, but wondered why it was purchased in the first place."

My guess would be the inmates aren't the only ones playing video games.  It was probably purchased because that's what the staff wanted to play.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

personally i might have imagined that the staff just had no clue what they were buying. I mean there are plenty of people who never even touched a game much less know anything about them. Send a staffer to go out and buy games without making a list and he'll just ask the clerk what's popular and get that. not to mention that i would figure in a prison setting these games would be made available in public spaces and as such I would think it more obvious to get games with offline multiplayer as opposed to single player games (though with online multi).

Re: Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in ...

That is what I was thinking. Someone had the authority to buy whatever games they wanted and bought the games they wanted to play. Not really that far fetched.

I am glad to see that they have a content policy now though. Not sure how much it is really needed. But at least they have some ground rules.

 
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Andrew EisenOh, third link on the Google search. Okay. That leads to a GameFAQs message board. Which quotes a section of the ESRB website that includes a description of the appeals process. But when you follow the link, that quote doesn't exist.05/29/2015 - 3:30am
Andrew EisenThird link down from what? Look, I'm not arguing the existance of an appeals process. There obviously is one. I was merely noting that it's odd that it isn't described on the website's ratings process section but it is on the mobile site.05/29/2015 - 3:25am
IronPatriotOK, so use the third link down, which describes the appeals process and is not on the mobile site"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board, which is made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals."05/29/2015 - 2:47am
Andrew EisenRight, which links to the ESRB's mobile site. On the website (again, unless I'm overlooking it) the appeals process is locked behind the publisher login.05/29/2015 - 2:37am
IronPatriotHuh? Google "appeals esrb". It is the first link. Click it. No login requested.05/29/2015 - 2:31am
Andrew EisenInteresting. It's on the mobile site but unless I'm overlooking it, I don't see it under the Ratings Process on the web site. It is under the publishers section but you can't access it without a login.05/29/2015 - 2:13am
IronPatriot"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals. " Esrb05/29/2015 - 2:01am
IronPatriotZachary, did you look on the esrb site? The esrb appeals process pops up when you search "esrb appeals" http://m.esrb.org/faq_09.php05/29/2015 - 2:00am
Andrew EisenThe humor reminds me a lot of Axe Cop.05/29/2015 - 1:37am
WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
 

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