Monday, February 2, 2009

TV's in Prison

The Boston Herald had a story, "BIG SCREENS IN THE BIG HOUSE!" The subhead: "CONS SCORE NEW TVs FOR SUPER BOWL ... HOW 'BOUT YOU?" By Jessica Van Sack. It turns out that the state Department of Correction spent nearly $77,000 on 117 flat-screen televisions with "canteen money," which she describes thusly:
Canteen money is raised by prisoner purchases of items such as toiletries and food, the proceeds of which go into a fund to benefit inmates. At any given time the account can contain up to $800,000, [DOC spokeswoman Diane] Wiffin said. Purchases of more than $1,000 require approval by top DOC officials.

The TVs were bought with the prisoners' own money, not tax payer's money. Where do they get it? Some inmates work and get paid a dollar something an hour. Some are given money by friends and relatives.

Sorry, I can't get outraged like the Herald wants me to. I have a big flat screen TV. Mostly everyone I know does, too. And those that I know that don't, do so by choice. Big deal.

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