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Clayton County approves DirecTV for prison

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by mmarton, Dec 19, 2007.

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  1. mmarton

    mmarton New Member

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Oh happy day!

    With only two Monday Night Football games remaining before the NFL playoffs, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners reluctantly approved county prison warden, Frank Smith's request for DirecTV, so prisoners can view certain sporting events.

    The BOC also decided to defer enforcement of a new, stricter county vehicle policy -- previously approved in their Nov. 20 meeting -- until February 1, to make sure its policies are in line with the recommendations of the board.

    While the prison's contract with DirecTV to broadcast satellite television throughout the complex will only cost $75 a month, the decision was narrowly approved by a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Wole Ralph and Sonna Singleton voted against it. "It's prison ... that's what its supposed to be," said Ralph, believing that DirecTV would coddle the inmates.

    Commissioner Virginia Gray expressed skepticism over the effectiveness of using DirecTV as a management tool for controlling prisoners, but eventually cast the deciding vote to approve the contract.

    The commissioners were not easily swayed. Tom Salter, a board member representing the 13th Congressional District of the Georgia Board of Corrections -- which oversees all of the state's prisons -- gave an impassioned plea on Smith's behalf, urging the county to approve the contract.

    Salter said that funds for DirecTV would come out of the budget generated by the prison commissary and the phones used by prisoners, and that prisoners in Clayton County -- who are generally minimum risk -- provide $1.8 million in services to the county per year. He said it was worth it to the county to give Smith a tool to manage their behavior.

    Smith defended his request. "It is not an anomaly" for a prison to have satellite television, he said, noting that 81 percent of the prisons in the state have satellite or cable television. "It makes sense when you have 90 percent of your people watching something positive, and not getting into trouble."

    Smith said he understood the feelings of citizens who believe satellite television is a luxury prisoners shouldn't have, but he said that view was narrow and "impractical."

    The commissioners also voted to defer the county's new vehicle policy to give themselves more time to decide how the new policies should be implemented. Until Nov. 20, the county did not have an official, written policy regarding the use of county cars, only an ordinance stating that "cars were for business use," according to county risk manager, Katherine Dodson. "It was vague and very loose," said Dodson. "Predominately, vehicle use was determined by the department heads involved."

    Under the new, but delayed policy, all county employees -- including those in public safety positions -- would not be able to take county vehicles home, if they live outside the county, with the exception of emergency responses. Those exceptions, however, would have to be brought in front of the full board for approval, on a case-by-case basis.

    Police Chief Jeff Turner said the policy doesn't consider law enforcement officers, many of whom live outside the county. "We provide a specific service, and those people are on call 24-7," said Turner. "The officers can't do too much when they are in their personal vehicles. It's an added benefit to have officers who can immediately respond."
     
  2. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 18, 2006
    Lancaster,...
    I didn't know the prison was like going to the Hilton. I thought prison was a punishment. I say No TVs, No basketball, No smoking, No anything by sitting in your cells all day thinking about what you did to get sent to prison! Why are the taxpayers paying for basketball courts, cable/satellite TV, cigarettes, etc. for prisoners. What am I missing?!?
     
  3. NYSmoker

    NYSmoker Icon

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    Aug 19, 2006
    The story says that it is being paid for by the prision commissary. No tax money as far as I can tell. Not to say I don't agree with you on prison should be punishment but tax dollars aren't paying for this particular amenity.
     
  4. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

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    Lancaster,...
    The tax dollars not being used wasn't the biggest issue I have with the idea. Prison is not supposed to be a nice play to be. All of these perks to prisoners is outright mindboggling and needs to be stopped! With all of these 'luxuries', we're not making their stay a place they may want to leave.
     
  5. nhlfan79

    nhlfan79 Legend

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    Aug 31, 2006
    The reason it took so long to approve this is because forcing Atlanta-based prisoners to watch the Falcons this year would've amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. They'd have had a constitutional mess on their hands!
     
  6. GeorgeLV

    GeorgeLV Godfather

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    I think if you got sent to one of these "Hilton" prisons, you'd still want to go home at the end of the day.

    I have no problem with extending minor privileges to model prisoners. Yes, it's first a punishment, but the next objective is to reform these folks into productive members of society.
     
  7. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Exactly. It's going to be used as a behavior management tool, meaning that they won't get to watch it if they have been uncooperative. I see no problem with this.
     
  8. narcolept

    narcolept Godfather

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    Mar 1, 2007
    +1 on seeing no problem with this.

    It's not as if this is the first prison in the country to offer television, either. Several county/state prisons that I know of offer inmates the opportunity to purchase televisions for their cells at a ridiculous mark-up (near $200 for a 19" tv) on their own dime, and they are then provided standard cable or the equivalent.

    It's actually quite effective as behavior management, in that it's a privilege that can be taken away.
     
  9. medic4jc7

    medic4jc7 Guest

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    May 22, 2007
    :lol: Now they can watch COPS in HD on Fox
     
  10. gulfwarvet

    gulfwarvet Tips & Resources Collaboration

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    Mar 7, 2007
    speaking of COPS in HD, yeah they might just see themselfs being arrested. so do you think Prison Break should be allowed :lol:
     
  11. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Feb 12, 2007
    Why would watching the NFL and some of the drug-abusing thugs that are rewarded with millions of dollars for playing in it be seen as a positive message for prisoners?
     
  12. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    I can see it now. The crowd yelling at the TV.

    Cons: "No don't hide under the kiddie pool in the back yard. Thats where they found ME!"

    Suspect hides under the kiddie pool under in the back yard.

    Cons: Still yelling at the TV, "Dumb@$$, they got night vision goggles, run away"

    Cops with their IR 2000 goggles "sees" the suspect under the kiddie pool.

    Cons: "Busted!"

    Con 1 looks at Con 2. "Sorry man, that was you" :hurah:
     
  13. mx6bfast

    mx6bfast Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Delray...
    COPS is not in HD.
     
  14. mx6bfast

    mx6bfast Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Delray...
    I wonder how much the HDTV's would cost.
     
  15. DirecTV3049

    DirecTV3049 Legend

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Well, I've actually visited several of these "Hiltons" both in Missouri and Illinois (as an attorney, not as a prisoner) and I wouldn't want to stay in one any longer than I absolutely had to.

    A couple of things. Dora Schriro - former head of the Missouri Department of Corrections - had this saying: "85% of our prisoners are going to be released some day . . . how do you want them?" Meaning she could send them back into the communities . . . but was that ALL we wanted? Because most of them couldn't read, didn't have job skills, and had no vested interest in "behaving." Didn't we ALSO want the ex-prisoners to be good, taxpaying citizens too? If so, then we had to do something more than just store them for the requisite number of years.

    It costs a LOT of money to lock people up - so if you can avoid having"repeat offenders" (i.e., recidivism) you actually *save* taxpayer dollars. The evidence is overwhelming - prison education and vocation programs *reduce* recidivism rates (i.e., fewer repeat offenders) across almost all crime categories.

    Last point: One of the things you notice first about prison staff (inside the walls) is the complete lack of weapons . . . and the low staff to inmate ratios. If prisoners have "nothing to lose" than they have nothing to lose. Translation: why shouldn't I fling my feces at that guard, set that mattress on fire, flood my cell because they cannot do anything worse to me if we're already doing the worse to them. You have to have something to take away - something the prisoner wants - to have any type of day-to-day control. If you don't, then you will need to spend a LOT more money on guards. In the end, even if taxpayer dollars are being used (and in the OP they're not) it's still cheaper to have DirecTV than to hire the number of guards you need to accomplish the same result.

    Notice here - the people who have the expertise in handling the prisoners and inmates - the people who ACTUALLY WORKED in the prisons every day - WANTED the inmates to have DirecTV. It was the elected people - the people who DO NOT have to work in the jails and prisons every day - who (being afraid of the voters) were reluctant.

    Question: is that any way to run a railroad? Yes, it's politics and we live in a democratic republic . . . but why would people NOT listen to the experts in this area? Why does, say, a truck driver or an accountant believe that they know more about what running a prison *should* be like than the people we pay to actually run the prisons??
     
  16. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Thank you. Widescreen SD!
     
  17. Aridon

    Aridon Mentor

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Considering an extremely high percentage of them will end up back in prison I don't think anyone can really say rehabilitation works to any degree.

    Unfortunately its not politically correct to say someone is a waste of skin and people would rather let them run a-muck with a rap sheet a mile long before they finally end up killing a few people and end up back in jail for good.
     
  18. medic4jc7

    medic4jc7 Guest

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    May 22, 2007
    :gott:Sorry I dont walk on water. Widescreen, shown in 1028x768 beamed down to your dish so can watch it on your tv. Ill be more precise next time.
     
  19. ElVee

    ElVee Legend

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    Nov 27, 2006

    They're prisoners, for God's sake.

    They should be forced to watch Dish, Comcast or Cablevision instead!

    Seriously, $75/month?
    I wonder how many receivers they get?
    HD access?
    HD extras?
    Premier package?

    We need answers!!!! :lol:
     
  20. mx6bfast

    mx6bfast Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Delray...
    Ummm, ok. I wasn't being rude about it. Just pointing out that COPS isn't in HD.

    Don't get all angry and come and kill me and end up in prison. :D
     
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