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Prisons are full of Naughty People

The go-to political and media punching bag has long been our prison system. Escapes have a certain glamour. Crime is rating high on the Idiot Box. There are people in prison extorting, getting drunk, corrupting guards, raping, bashing and stealing. Riots. Hunger strikes. You name it, the prison system is a microcosm of the outside World without that ethical signature we think of as civilisation.

That’s the real trouble with all these stories. The latest article about Risdon Prison this last week was the shock horror front page revelation that prisoners are using an illicit mobile phone network within the prison to send out selfies that other people post on Facebook pages in the prisoners’ names.

Oh, for fuck sake. The headline should have simply read “Breaking News: Prisons are full of Naughty People”.

Considering the Australian prison system houses over 30,000 inmates and releases 50,000 inmates a year back into society; considering those inmates have friends and family that visited them (or forgot to visit); and considering this country has 24 million residents, of which only half a million live in Tasmania – it’s probably not much news to anybody that Tasmania’s prisoners use illicit mobile phones.

Even somebody who has only ever watched television and crime movies would understand that prisoners use mobile technology inside prison. To organise drug distribution and corruption. To phone their wives, girlfriends and children. And to counter the prison’s monitored communication systems. That some prisoner makes a selfie after his gym workout to impress friends outside prison is about as unsurprising as a discovery and revelation of rampant masturbation in the cell block. It conjures imaginary headlines like “He Looked at my Cock in the Shower” and “Guard Probes Arses”. Or “Cum for Cash – Betting Debts Paid in Full for Services Rendered.”

In other words, any newspaper making front page news out of mundane prison realities is doing a pretty crap job of selling advertisements (their real business). We know that shit already.

So, “Breaking, Breaking… Read all about it: Prisons are full of naughty people.”

I can guarantee a number of things about your local prison on this very day – someone got fucked; someone got fucked over; someone got fucked with; someone wanted to fuck off; someone had fuck all and took someone else’s stuff; someone fucking snorted, smoked or swallowed stuff to get stoned. And that’s all about as ordinary as it comes in any prison.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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