Pennsylvania to end prison book donations, forcing inmates onto pricey eBook platform

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/14/pennsylvania-to-end-prison-boo.html

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Privatization of prisons is one of the worst ideas ever. But given that, we should at least open it up to competition, so “prison consumers” can (for example) choose between The Hoosegow™ or The Clink™.

(Tip: The Hoosegow is much nicer; has this whole cowboy theme going on, but will cost you a few Reagans more)

https://www.shmoop.com/snow-crash/chapter-6-summary.html

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This is more punishment of the poor. Stick some poor bastard in a prison with no mental, spiritual, imaginative stimulation and then force them to pay money they don’t have to select from a restrictive list of books.This is quite a republican view of the world to further penalize the already downtrodden. Fuck every son of a bitch that makes profit off of other peoples misery.

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It seems to me to be more of a part of the “war on prisoners”.

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I’m surprised they don’t claim that it’s easier to craft a shank out of a physical book than it is to craft one from an ebook.

“One prisoner straight up ‘Mark Twained’ another, right in the exercise yard. Huckleberry Finn is quite incisive in the wrong hands.”

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:notes: Butterfly in the sky
I can get twice as high
Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow!:notes:

But seriously this is effed up.

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Hey, those eReaders - they’re computers y’know. Various pieces of kit are always being imaginatively repurposed by savvy-folk. So, schtum, yeah?

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As a librarian, I object to this. Ironically, this will ban Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption, with its iconic library scene.

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I could see drugs or other small items being packed into the spine of a hardcover (in old books, the book block start to come away and there’s often a nice little gap there). So, paperbacks only. Though I guess you could pack some weed or some papers impregnated with a desired substance in there, if you got it flat enough…

This is just a clever plan to give them all chronic eye strain. It’s much harder to commit crimes when you can’t see anything. Brilliant! (Well, not brilliant for them, more of a blurry-bright, probably)

… do I need this? /s

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To be fair, at least one prison system insisted that books come directly from the publisher, or maybe it was bookstore. I can’t remember why I know this, maybe it was the weekend I spent in jail.

That makes it costly, especially now when few books come in pocket size. Those were a cheap publishing form, publishers would sell in bulk to schools and presumably books for prisoner programs.

I’d point out that while public domain books are cheap in e form, they aren’ so cheap for new books. $3.00 seems cheap for recent books, generally there’s no cost benefit on new ebooks.

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No law books probably.

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So who’s getting the kickbacks? I mean, it’s not like there isn’t a history of this sort of thing in Pennsylvania.

(Article is relevant to kickbacks, not prison libraries.)

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The harm of banning books is greater than the harm of drugs in our prisons.

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This comes hot on the heels of a statewide prison lockdown after corrections employees across the state were sickened from purported exposure to synthetic drugs. Similarly five inmates died from overdose in Arkansas and dozens were sickened in Ohio.

I don’t agree with it, but this is the justification being used for such measures.

:musical_note: And I ain’t saying that will change rap back
But I do know this for a fact
Right now there’s a youth on your block
With his hands on his balls, face screwed up
Swear he don’t care, don’t give a fuck
That he won’t let nobody call his bluff
But the words go in
Open your shackles
Because once that’s happened there’s no going back
Once you start to see what is really happening
Who the enemy you should be attackin’ is
So READ, READ, READ!
Stuck on the block, READ, READ!
Sittin’ in the box, READ, READ!
Don’t let them say what you can achieve
Because when people are enslaved
One of the first things they do is stop them reading
Cos’ it is well understood
that intelligent people will take their freedom :musical_note:

This ain’t just about money. The cops know the value of literacy; the suppression of liberatory ideas is deliberate. You can’t get Malcolm X or Angela Davis on these e-readers.

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I bet it’s some re-badged low end Android hardware. I’d be jail-breaking mine ASAP. (No micro SD, no USB port? Maybe it’s Apple… :sunglasses: )

Tablets come equipped with a mortality timer that requires the device to be synced to the Kiosk for an update every 30 days or the tablet will lock.

That’d be the first thing to go.

• Drain the battery completely to 0% before recharging it

What? That’s not how lithium cells work, you ignorant bozos! Ah, apparently they aren’t lithium batteries. How messed up is that?

I think this is the previous 1.0 tablet:

Inspire 2.0 is a hardened inmate tablet featuring an advanced technology platform and versatile operational program. Built on an Android-based system, the tablet includes a customized multi-layered security architecture made up of five distinct elements: network security, wireless security, operating system security, hardware security, and application security. In addition, penetration testing performed by Nettitude confirmed Inspire 2.0 has a strong security posture – reinforcing GTL’s approach to security.

Uh-huh. What’s a “strong security posture”?

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I usually just post my funny-to-me little quips here, but this just makes me so damn sad I can’t stand it.

People are so fucking horrible.

sigh…

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American prisons and criminal justice system is fundamentally. We need to start over and abolish the former system.

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Usually they’ll have approved vendor lists, but I’m sure it’s done differently in many places. A lot of anarchist black cross collectives/books-to-prisoners groups get books into prisons by forging approved vendor documentation. There was recently a funny instance whereby a prison insisted that all literature being sent to a particular prison organizer would have to be to be checked for illegal content. Obviously this provoked a deluge of reading material that prison staff were forced to read word for word.

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