Michigan Prison’s Xbox Program Has Me Rethinking Life Behind Bars [OPINION]
All bills paid, three meals a day, free healthcare, Xbox, AND a full night's sleep? Where do I sign up?
A pair of recent headlines about Saginaw Correctional Facility have been making waves in the community, and have opened up a fairly interesting debate -- both having to do with inmates and Xboxes.
The first story that caused an uproar was about one of their prisoners, who is serving a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend eight years ago, "receiving an Xbox" for revealing the location of his victim's body. There was a follow-up story about the program in that same prison that gives well-behaved prisoners in the "military veteran unit" access to an Xbox. As you can imagine, people were not having it. Here's a sampling of some of the online chatter:
Now, contrary to the headlines of each story, none of the prisoners "get an Xbox." They're not holed up in their cell playing Fortnite online all day. They get access to an offline Xbox for a maximum of 30 minutes a day, and are not allowed to play "violent-based" games... which is a silly term because almost every video game contains some level of violence, but I digress.
It should also be noted that the systems are donated, and not paid for with taxpayer dollars as many in the comments assumed. Just to be clear though -- I am not defending this program. I just wanted to get the facts straight before I go in on this thing.
I don't think prisoners should be playing Xbox. If they get a half an hour of game time every day, they'll be playing video games more than I was able to play 'Spider-Man' on PS4 last week. Seriously, I've had the game for roughly two weeks and have only been able to get maybe six hours of game time in. If I were locked up I'd be at 7 hours.
Six hours of quality game time is actually a lot for me. Between raising three kids and working 50 hours a week, I've barely had time to play video games at all over the past year. I work hard to be able to afford little luxuries like video games. So much so that I often do not have the time or energy left over to even enjoy said luxuries.
I know that I'm not the only one who goes through this struggle... not even close, actually. When I hear that correctional facility inmates are getting more game time in than me -- it kind of makes me wonder who's really in prison? Also, it pisses me off a little. I'm sure others are with me on that too.
I obtained my video games legally and convicted felons doing time are the only ones with enough free time to enjoy them. Plus they get three meals a day, a full night's rest, and all their bills are paid. S**t, this whole prison thing is sounding better every day... If you don't mind the whole no-shoelaces-pooping-in-front-of-people-being-squirrel-master's-bitch-getting-shanked-or-raped-in-the-shower-maybe-both aspect of it.
For the record, I do mind that aspect of it. A lot.
I just want more time to play video games than convicts get. Some sleep and three meals a day would be dope too. Is that too much for a hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of the United States of America to ask?