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Blunt says it's game over for Missouri inmates

January 24, 2005
By: Ben Welsh
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - It's game over for Missouri inmates.

Gov. Matt Blunt passed down an executive order Monday pulling the plug on video games in all state prisons.

"It's prison. You're there because you did something wrong against society," Blunt said. "Videogames are not puntative or correctional."

An investigation made by the Kansas City Star in December 2005 led to the removal of violent video games from the new Jefferson City Correctional Center.

Blunt's order goes even further. It restricts prisoners from playing any video games -- not just those with violent content. He said that inmates could better spend their time developing job skills and correcting their behavior.

Blunt's ban wasn't the only thing concerning Missouri inmates happening at the Capital on Monday.

A Senate committee held hearings on two bills sponsored by Sen. John Cauthorn (R-Mexico). One seeks to charge sales tax on items sold in prison stores. The other would stiffen penalties on inmates who harass prison employees by creating a new crime called endangering a corrections employee.

"All you can do now is grin and bear it," said William Kidwell, a locksmith from the Tipton Correctional Center who testified that he had been harassed about five time in 15 years on the job.

"I had a glass of three day old urine thrown up in my face," Kidwell said. "It had been up on the window sill. It was good and ripe."