Prisoners in Scotland are "watching too much TV"

The parliament's justice committee is concerned that inmates in Scotland's jails "have unlimited opportunity to watch television," and say "a reasonable amount of time to watch television is fair as part of a prisoners' relaxation time," but warns of the importance of establishing "guidelines regarding the appropriate amount of television viewing." [BBC News]



  1. Prisoners in America are “committing too many crimes”. The Federal somebody or other, etc, said inmates in America’s jails “have unlimited opportunity to produce,buy, sell and consume drugs, engage in rape, assault, murder, blackmail, money laundering and other criminal activities. A reasonable amount if crime is fair as part of a prisoner’s relaxation time, but guidelines regarding the appropriate amount must be established.”

    Also: prisoners’

  2. The prisonerses televisions *should* be watched a lot.
    Except heist films or TV shows about grifting…
    Televisions showing only a loop of last weeks Eastenderses Omnibus might be cruel and unusual punishment, so there’s obviously a spectrum of efficacy to be considered here.

      1. By that definition I spent the mid-to-late 90’s in prison.

        My roommates had awful viewing habits.

  3. If the inmates brush their teeth twice a day, clean their cells, and don’t forget “please” and “thank you,” they should be able to watch as much TV as they want in my opinion.

    1. Sure beats having them sitting around bored thinking of things to do.  Probably safer for the guards and other inmates too.

  4. Is this a response to some documented behavioural problem, or is it just good ol’ common sense?  What is the base rate of ungentlemanly TV watching habits within the prison population?  What evidence justifies the belief that enforced TV hours will result in pro-social behaviour post-custody?  What criminogenic need is being targeted, and does this treatment address that need with an appropriate level of responsivity?

    I’ll just sit here and wait.

    1. Or is it just some moral sentiment in the general vein of, they might be having too much fun and need to be poked with sticks more?

      1. I hear the complaint “why should my tax dollars pay for cable TV for felons?” a lot over here in the U.S.. For some reason people seem fine with the idea of wasting untold billions of dollars on the biggest prison-industrial complex in the history of mankind but get completely unhinged by the idea that some of those inmates might spend a few hours watching “Shark Week.”

        1. TV watching in prison is an easy target and doesn’t require any abstract thoughts to get outraged over.  

        2. I truly suspect that if the complaining people were given a choice, the prison scenes from last season’s Downton Abbey would be the norm. No talking, no relaxation, walk in circles, bland oatmeal and maybe some water to eat and drink. But then, I suspect there would still be people saying they shouldn’t be allowed to walk, and food is an extravagance they don’t deserve.

  5. Presumably it’s preferable for them to be working towards scratch on the old course at St Andrews?

  6. What is it with prisoners today? Back in my day, prisoners played outside all day. You couldn’t get ’em to watch TV; not on a nice day like today…

  7. I always thought we need to take away the weight sets and the martial arts lessons (do violent felons really need to learn better ways to hurt people?) and install comfy recliners and TVs in each cell along with all the fatty, salty snacks they want.

    So instead of releasing them after ten years as buff, well-trained violence machines we get fat, lethargic TV-junkies.  Both are useless to society but one is less dangerous to other people.

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