In a decision issued today, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Wisconsin prison’s rule forbidding inmates to play Dungeons & Dragons or possess D&D publications and materials [HT: Josh Blackman]. The prison’s rationale for the ban is that playing D&D might stimulate “gang activity” by inmates. But the government conceded that there is no evidence that Dungeons and Dragons actually had stimulated gang activity in the past, either in this prison or elsewhere. The only evidence for the supposedly harmful effects of Dungeons and Dragons were a few cases from other states where playing the game supposedly led inmates to indulge in “escapism” and become divorced from reality, one case where two non-inmates committed a crime in which they “acted out” a D&D story-line, and one where a longtime D&D player (not an inmate) committed suicide. Obviously, almost any hobby or reading material might lead people to become divorced from reality, or in rare cases commit suicide. And disturbed individuals could potentially “act out” a crime based on a scenario in almost any film or literary work. Should prisons ban The Count of Monte Cristo on the grounds that it might encourage escape attempts? Moreover, the “escapism” rationale conflicts with the gang argument. People who become engrossed in escapism and retreat from society are presumably less likely to become active gang members.
Tag Archives | Gangs
Only miles from the scenic vistas and celebrity mansions that draw sightseers from around the globe — but a world away from the glitz and glamour — a bus tour is rolling through the dark side of the city's gang turf.
Passengers paying $65 a head Saturday signed waivers acknowledging they could be crime victims and put their fate in the hands of tattooed ex-gang members who say they have negotiated a cease-fire among rivals in the most violent gangland in America.
Is there no stopping the spread of Twitter? Now it’s a tool for gang warfare, at least accoring to tabloid newspaper the New York Daily News:
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The city’s street gangs are becoming tweet gangs.
Manhattan’s young thugs have turned to Twitter, and the cops who track them are fast behind, the Daily News has learned.
It’s old-school crime meets new technology: attacks being plotted – and thwarted – 140 characters at a time.
One investigator recently warned parents and teens that the bastion of OMG and LOL has been infiltrated by violent crews waging turf wars.
A boy shot in the leg weeks earlier on Lenox Ave. may have been targeted because of a battle the Original Young Gangsters crew started on Twitter.
“It’s horrible,” NYPD Lt. Kevin O’Connor of Manhattan North’s gang intelligence unit told a forum in Harlem.
A basic search of the social-networking site for OYG or Jeff Mob, the gang based in the Jefferson Houses in East Harlem, yields shout-outs and throwdowns.