You Can't Play Dungeons & Dragons In Prison (Anymore)

Kevin T. Singer is currently serving a life sentence for murdering his sister's boyfriend. He's also challenging the prison's rights to take away his Dungeons & Dragons.

Incarcerated at the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin in 2002, Singer had for two years been not only playing D&D with his cellmates, but had in his possession several books on the subject, and had even written his own 96-page scenario.

In 2004, however, the prison banned the game after an anonymous inmate complained that Singer and his friends were forming a "gang" around the game.

His game and reference materials were then confiscated by prison guards, on the grounds that they promoted "fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviours, and possible gambling".

Singer appealed the prison's decision, but earlier this week 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his pleas, on the grounds that "punishment is a fundamental aspect of imprisonment".

Game over: Wisconsin inmate can't play Dungeons & Dragons [InsideBayArea][image credit]


Comments

    After handing down the sentence the Judge was overheard whispering to himself:

    "That's how I roll!"

    Singer obviously failed his diplomacy check.

    Bahaha two awesome puns.

    I bet Singer's wizard banned Enchantment! (Only makes sense if you play d&d and realize I'm referring to charm person.)

    But they let prisoners watch TV don't they? What's the differ... what the HELL am I even posting this for? Its a game therefore its evil...

    They could at least have the game run by the wardens and force the inmates to play as lawful good!

    Hell, I can see some genuine potential in that, at least they could be having a bit of fun whilst being lectured about things they already know

    Read the story and puns below to my girlfriend... No laughs sadly.

    I meanwhile loved it.

      Can't believe I forgot to link this.

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/1/25

      PA ran with the story as well.

    I work in a prison as a psychologist and I have to say that I find the decision odd. While I acknowledge that we are dealing here with an American prison, I have to comment that prisons should not be about punishment; they should be places where offenders can be rehabilitated. If these prisoners are engaging in prosocial activities and improving creativity, I really fail to see what the problem is.

      The purpose of the justice system is a very debatable issue. Personally, I believe it should be primarily restitutive (i.e. forcing the perpetrator to right their wrong) rather than primarily punitive or rehabilitative.

      But regardless of this, it seems that this is an arbitrary rule. If D&D "lessenned the punishment" then why hasn't it been banned before? It seems this is an arbitrary tightening of the rules because one judge thinks the game is too good for inmates.

      All D&D and any other tabletop RPG consists of is reading material, pens, paper and participatory storytelling. If this 'lessens the punishment of prison' then there should be no fiction in the prison library, no books for inmates to read, no pens or paper for them to draw or write or anything of that nature, and no socializing at all.

      I for one think its better the inmates are doing something other than stabbing and raping each other all the time. Apparently the judge thinks differently.

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