Prison officials to review how much violence is too much in video |

Prison officials to review how much violence is too much in video

DENVER – State corrections officials are discussing whether the state should set guidelines for how much violence is too much in video games and movies provided for inmates.Committees at each prison now decide which movies and video games will be offered. While some allow bloody video games, while others do not.Last month Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt banned all video games in prisons in his state, saying they were a luxury inmates should not be allowed to enjoy. Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan said that would not be the case here.Movies and video games have been an inexpensive way of occupying inmates at a time when state budget woes have resulted in prison staff reductions, Morgan said. Inmates are less likely to get into trouble if they have something to do.And violent movies and video games have not been shown to lead to violence by Colorado inmates, Morgan said.”Anything that gives people something to do is a good thing,” said inmate Mike Freeman, 44, at the minimum-security Camp George West near Golden. “It burns up time.”Freeman was playing a car-race video game recently at the prison’s recreation center with inmate Grant Knowles.”There’s only so many classes you can do,” Knowles said.Colorado prisoners are prohibited from having some video games, including the “Grand Theft Auto” series, which depicts carjackings and police slayings, Morgan said.Camp George West has only racing- and sports-related video games.”We don’t want anything that would be grossly violent,” Camp George West recreation officer Daniel Nieto said. “That would be counterproductive.”The videos are paid for with funds through prison canteen purchases, not through taxes, Morgan said.

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