Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Televisions in Prison

Your article, Prisons TV: Luxury or Management Tool? [Vol.5 No.9, Sept. '94], raises an issue that has been debated by myself and some other prisoners here in Wisconsin. I believe that Wardens and others within the DOC have a perception that televisions are assisting them in minimizing static and disruption. DOC officials believe that by permitting televisions, they are in possession of a tool by which they can use to pacify the prisoners into conforming - rather than concentrating their efforts and time in fighting these people legally, educationally, and otherwise.

I believe that television can consume a man who is forced to live in a prison cell all day and all night. I agree that rather than read a law book or study math, most men in prison simply sit in their cells glued to the TV set - probably believing much of what he hears and sees.

I defy anyone to prove to me that thirty years ago, when prisons did not allow television sets, that the prisoners were any more educated, intelligent, or non-passive. Its a matter of choice. A prisoner who wants to read and learn and study will. One has to make these choices.

People who believe that removing television sets from prisons would make the prisons a better place, or that prisoners in those joints would be better educated, more informed and less passive, are only fooling themselves. The problem isnt with the access to a television, the problem lies with the men and women watching them rather than learning what their rights are.

Those who champion removing the televisions from prisons can rest with the knowledge that they are championing a cause supported by Clarence Thomas, Bob Dole and Tommy Thompson. Tommy Thompson is the extreme right-wing Governor of Wisconsin who just ordered the weights removed from all WI prisons, and who ran '94 reelection ads stating that televisions are next to go. I question anyone who agrees with Thomas, Helms or Thompson.

Waupun, Wisconsin




As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login