Saturday, March 13, 2010

Natural Elf Killers

Prison officials said they had banned [Dungeons and Dragons] at the recommendation of the prison’s specialist on gangs, who said it could lead to gang behavior [...]
Dungeons & Dragons Prison Ban Upheld
Dungeons and Dragons as possible lead-in to gang activity? Really? It seems unlikely that a bunch of guys rolling dice and pushing miniatures around on a map would lead to putting hits out on other inmates or running drugs behind bars. The overall opinion seems to be that any group of inmates that isn't attempting to shank one another is effectively a prison gang.

To a degree, I understand the prison's desire to prevent Kevin Singer from playing D&D while in prison. It's unlikely that many of the prison staff really have a clue as to what Dungeons and Dragons is about (when you read some of the gang specialist's statements, it's pretty clear he's totally ignorant), and corrections officials don't like having anything in their facilities that they don't understand, and therefore, aren't sure how to control. But like the comment thread on The Volokh Conspiracy acknowledges, there were other, and perhaps more intelligent rationales for a ban.

And all of this does bring up one point that's lost in all of this - if any consistent cooperative activity behind bars can be considered a threat to prison security, is it any wonder that people get out with barely any ability to function in society?

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