The Right To Email In Prison

from the criminally-inane dept

Criminals and hi-tech gadgets don’t seem to get along sometimes. But when it comes to Internet access, some say prisoners have a right to use email. I wonder if it’s cruel and unusual to force prisoners to program while they’re in prison..?

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Comments on “The Right To Email In Prison”

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Ed says:


It seems like a very short-sighted and arbitrary decision. Prisoners should have the same rights to email as they do to use the telephone. Communication both ways can be subject to monitoring, and, like outgoing phone calls, which are always collect and are preceded by an announcement that they originate from a prison, outgoing email can be wrapped with ample notice that it comes from a prisoner. Most web-based email manages to tag ads to all messages; why can’t prisons do the same?

I’m sure that, several decades ago, telephone privileges were seen as a complete luxury and something that didn’t belong in a prison, but now limited phone privileges are, as I understand, granted to all except the worst offenders.

mhh5 says:

Re: Silly

Sure it’s silly and arbitrary. But I think most prison rules are..? I also think that the state has a legitimate argument if the costs are too high for allowing email access. Phones are standard and cheap, but computers and modems and internet access is not quite as ubiquitous yet. Maybe when it is, email will be the *only* way to communicate with inmates….

u2604ab says:

Re: Re: Re: capricous & arbitrary

In Texas prisons, the best behaved people in the lightest-security prisons are allowed one collect phone call per year. If you’re in Texas in a medium or high security lockup or if you’ve had a behavioral infraction within the last year, you can forget calling mom on her birthday.

This treatment of prisoners (combined with the nature of the Texas criminal justice system) makes me wonder how long it will be before IBM teams up with Texas to round up all the gays, blacks & latinos– because they’re obviously all immoral criminals– shave their heads and send them to special showers.

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