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  #1  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:05 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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No Dungeons and Dragons in prison

In Singer v. Raemisch, the Seventh Circuit this month upheld a prison regulation forbidding inmates from playing Dungeons and Dragons, apparently because the game would encourage prisoners to escape.

I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. Is there something about Dungeons and Dragons that reasonable prison officials could believe would lead to increased security risks?

ETA: also mentioned as a rationale was the idea that D&D could foster gang activity because the game emulates gang strcuture. One player, the Dungeon Master, gives absolute guidance and direction to subordinate players, exactly as a gang boss gives direction to his subordinates.

Last edited by Bricker; 01-27-2010 at 12:09 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:09 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
In Singer v. Raemisch, the Seventh Circuit this month upheld a prison regulation forbidding inmates from playing Dungeons and Dragons, apparently because the game would encourage prisoners to escape.

I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. Is there something about Dungeons and Dragons that reasonable prison officials could believe would lead to increased security risks?
I've played D&D since I was a teenager and I feel confident that no prison could hold me.

Honestly though, it's moronic. D&D or more generally any pencil and paper roleplaying game is a perfect vehicle to pour out an inmate's excess energy. Prisons should be promoting Pencil and Paper RPGs.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:09 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
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A 20-sided die has a lot of sharp corners.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:11 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Well, once they find out about all those Dwarven abilities, they'd try to get all the people under 4 feet tall to help them tunnel out.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:15 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Though I should note that when I was last at the HQ for Catalyst Game Labs, license holders for Shadow Run, we all felt bad for the guy in prison who wrote asking for a donation of gaming materials. However it seemed to be somewhat counter productive to entertain the idea of sending him a game where the player characters tend to be criminals (though often of a noble sort).
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:16 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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They should be required to play lawful-good characters as part of their rebilitation.

I certainly don't see any harm in allowing prisoners to play D&D. If a game became a focus for some sort of prison gang then closing down that game would seem in order. But I don't think it would be any more likely to become such a focus as opposed to any other semi-structured social activity.

That said, how often are prison policies challenged in the courts? What grounds do you challenge them on? Certainly being banned from playing D&D isn't cruel and unusual punishment.

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Originally Posted by OP
One player, the Dungeon Master, gives absolute guidance and direction to subordinate players, exactly as a gang boss gives direction to his subordinates.
I've admittedly never been in a gang, but I think I'd replace "exactly" in this sentence with "pretty much in no way similar to"
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
ETA: also mentioned as a rationale was the idea that D&D could foster gang activity because the game emulates gang strcuture. One player, the Dungeon Master, gives absolute guidance and direction to subordinate players, exactly as a gang boss gives direction to his subordinates.
This is just silly. The game does not work that way. The DM is not the player's boss, he's more of a referee/antagonist. He describes the setting, controls and/or creates the storyline, portrays all non-player characters, makes combat rolls for the monsters, and adjudicates the results of player actions under the rules.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
In Singer v. Raemisch, the Seventh Circuit this month upheld a prison regulation forbidding inmates from playing Dungeons and Dragons, apparently because the game would encourage prisoners to escape.

I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. Is there something about Dungeons and Dragons that reasonable prison officials could believe would lead to increased security risks?

ETA: also mentioned as a rationale was the idea that D&D could foster gang activity because the game emulates gang strcuture. One player, the Dungeon Master, gives absolute guidance and direction to subordinate players, exactly as a gang boss gives direction to his subordinates.
Yah, it's hard to follow - not least because DMs (good ones, anyway) really *don't* give "absolutely guidance and direction" to the other players. DMs don't give orders, other than purely mechanical instruction - "okay, roll to see if cast magic missile worked ..."

I could sort of see an argument that *any* activity which fosters social interaction between prisoners not mediated by prison staff could foster gang activity - but what of other board games? Sports? Prayer groups? In-prison employment? Good grief, I suspect there are common jobs in prison in which prisoner trustees really *will* give binding instructions to subordinate prisoners - "hey, you didn't clean this/assemble this/X properly - fix it!"

Courts have traditionally given a great deal of deference to prisons making decisions about security and correctional needs of the facility, and that's appropriate. But that shouldn't be *unquestioning* deference.

Last edited by Mr. Excellent; 01-27-2010 at 12:21 PM.. Reason: fixed typo
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:20 PM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
This is just silly. The game does not work that way. The DM is not the player's boss, he's more of a referee/antagonist. He describes the setting, controls and/or creates the storyline, portrays all non-player characters, makes combat rolls for the monsters, and adjudicates the results of player actions under the rules.
As he often does, Oakminster makes the point more succinctly, and persuasively, than I could.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:27 PM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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The only issue I see is prisoners could potentially cross the line between in-character and out-of-character, leading to fights caused by some in-character slight. I think the benefits of socialization and problem-solving far outweigh those risks, though.

If prisoners have the desire and means to escape, they don't need D&D as a catalyst.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:30 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
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Could it just stem from a misunderstanding? The prisoners are already in a dungeon of sorts; perhaps the objection was only to the introduction of dragons.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:31 PM
Blalron Blalron is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
In Singer v. Raemisch, the Seventh Circuit this month upheld a prison regulation forbidding inmates from playing Dungeons and Dragons, apparently because the game would encourage prisoners to escape.

I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. Is there something about Dungeons and Dragons that reasonable prison officials could believe would lead to increased security risks?
No. Nothing about the game of D&D would give a person any real life guidance about how to escape from prison. A game scenario would be something like this:

Player 1: I try to escape from prison!
(Dungeon Master rolls dice)
DM: You successfully escape!

Quote:
ETA: also mentioned as a rationale was the idea that D&D could foster gang activity because the game emulates gang strcuture. One player, the Dungeon Master, gives absolute guidance and direction to subordinate players, exactly as a gang boss gives direction to his subordinates.
The Dungeon Master creates the setting of the game, but he's not supposed to direct players how they act. Whether a player succeeds at a particular action depends upon his character's statistics and the roll of the dice.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:33 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is online now
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Originally Posted by Agent Foxtrot View Post
The only issue I see is prisoners could potentially cross the line between in-character and out-of-character, leading to fights caused by some in-character slight. I think the benefits of socialization and problem-solving far outweigh those risks, though.

If prisoners have the desire and means to escape, they don't need D&D as a catalyst.
"Stop digging - there's a guard coming!"

"Nah it's OK - I've maxed out my Silent Tunnelling attribute, and I've got a +3 modifier on my Evasion rolls!"
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:34 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. Is there something about Dungeons and Dragons that reasonable prison officials could believe would lead to increased security risks?
Well, on paper it gives any convict unlimited access to medieval weaponry and armor, possibly enchanted to boot. Vorpal mithril shivs present a real security concern. Jack Chick also warned us direly about the hobby's potential to unlock magical powers in players.

OK, serious answer : the only way I could see roleplaying as presenting a security risk would be if the DM organizes a "dungeon crawl" using the prison's floorplan, monsters that would have *exactly* the guards' routines, etc...
In that sense, it could be construed as a planning tool. But no more than allowing convicts to doodle in the sand. Or talk.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:35 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Overheard on shower day:

I'ma cast Polymorph Self and change into something that ain't got no butt hole....
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:39 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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This thread would be perfect for trolls.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:42 PM
GoodOmens GoodOmens is offline
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A 20-sided die has a lot of sharp corners.
No it doesn't, you silly. A 20-sider is almost a sphere. Now, the 4-sided dice...they're like godddamn caltrops!
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:46 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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D&D promotes original thinking, and rewards finding creative solutions to problems. In this case, how to get out of jail.

And do you have any idea just how many spells there are that can be used to escape confinement?

Start with the basic knock spell to open the doors and go from there. Dozens of levitation and flight incantations. Stone to mud. Summon Earth elemental.

Then you add in all the glamours, charms, and illusions.

The prisons would be empty in mere days.

I imagine Dopers could fill pages of this thread with ideas.

Last edited by Projammer; 01-27-2010 at 12:51 PM..
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2010, 12:48 PM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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Standard caltrops ARE tetrahedral, just like 4 sided dice but with points (obviously).

As a D&Der from WAY back (1974), I can't imagine what the officials were thinking.
Maybe they were afraid that the inmates would have too much fun.
After all, I can name a couple of folks who would be perfectly happy to spend a few years just playing AD&D. No job, no bills, just pure fantasy role playing day in and day out.

Maybe the escape the officials were worrying about was a mental escape.
Prison is supposed to be unpleasant, right?
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2010, 01:08 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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This is very, very, very, very, very stupid.

For the record, though, the court didn't agree that D&D fosters gang activity. It said the D&D player (Singer) failed to prove that the prison was acting irrationaly when it decided D&D might lead to gang activity in the future and undermine prison security. He had to do that in order to show the officials were out of bounds and that they had to return his gaming materials. It's not that much of a difference, but it's a judicial ruling, so the truth is nitpicky: it's not enough that this interpretation of prison policy was incredibly moronic, and that not only did the prison officials not prove D&D is linked to gang activity, they straight-up admitted it hasn't lead to gang activity in the past. Singer also had to prove that the officials didn't have a rational basis for their belief that it the game could undermine authority in the prison and run counter to the goal of rehabilitation, and the court says he didn't do that.

Link to a PDF of the actual decision.

The FindLaw summary:
Quote:
In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against prison officials alleging that the confiscation of his Dungeons and Dragons game materials and imposition of a ban on D&D play violated his First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the prison officials is affirmed as, despite the inmate's large quantum of affidavit testimony asserting that D&D is not associated with gangs and that the game can improve inmate rehabilitation, he has failed to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact concerning the reasonableness of the relationship between the ban and the prison's clearly legitimate penological interests.
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:16 PM
Phatlewt Phatlewt is offline
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I read about this at the Above the Law Blog, and I thought this closing paragraph was spot on.

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Originally Posted by Above The Law Blog
Obviously, this is where my bleeding heart gets the best of me. Because all this is about is punishment. It’s not about rehabilitation, it’s not about security, it’s about old-school vengeance carried out by state actors. He killed somebody, and we as a society found something else he liked that we can take away. So we’re going to take it away. It’s Christopher Lloyd playing a Klingon in Star Trek 3 telling Kirk he won’t beam up Spock “because you wish it.”

I guess that is our right. I guess there is no compelling interest in making the life imprisonment of a murderer a little less horrible. But vengeance, even when legal, is still ugly. The Seventh Circuit just made a Lawful Evil decision here.
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:17 PM
Dissonance Dissonance is online now
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The case suddenly makes a lot more sense to me, it's a prisoner grudge. From Marley's link:
Quote:
This all changed on or about November 14, 2004, when Waupun’s long-serving Disruptive Group Coordinator, Captain Bruce Muraski, received an anonymous letter from an inmate. The letter expressed concern that Singer and three other inmates were forming a D&D gang and were trying to recruit others to join by passing around their D&D publications and touting the “rush” they got from playing the game. Muraski, Waupun’s expert on gang activity, decided to heed the letter’s advice and “check into this gang before it gets out of hand.”
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  #23  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:18 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Speaking as someone with actual experience in running prisons, that is one ridiculous regulation. I can't imagine any reason why I would forbid prisoners from playing role-playing games.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 01-27-2010 at 02:19 PM..
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:30 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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The fact is, the prison didn't have to be "right" about whether or not D&D fosters gang activity. They just had to think it did in such a way as that their decision to remove the game was not aribitrary. Waupun, where the event took place, is a Maximum Security prison. The D&D playing plaintiff bludgeoned someone to death with a hammer. I'm just saying, you can't always get what you want after you murder someone. Does anyone really disagree with the idea that the prison has the right to say what privileges and pastimes are permitted within its walls, especially its Maximum Security walls?

The judge(s) didn't say that D&D fostered gang activity, they said it was reasonable for the prison to believe it might. Is that stupid? Yes, probably.

Lawful Evil strikes again.
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:31 PM
Scuba_Ben Scuba_Ben is offline
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Originally Posted by kidchameleon View Post
Well, once they find out about all those Dwarven abilities, they'd try to get all the people under 4 feet tall to help them tunnel out.
I wouldn't use kinder / hobbits / halflings for that. Gnomes if absolutely necessary, but no halflings.

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Originally Posted by Projammer View Post
And do you have any idea just how many spells there are that can be used to escape confinement?

Start with the basic knock spell to open the doors and go from there. Dozens of levitation and flight incantations. Stone to mud. Summon Earth elemental.

Then you add in all the glamours, charms, and illusions.
Admittedly there's no kill like overkill. For a standard cell door, though, I expect the unlock cantrip to work just fine.
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  #26  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:33 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I'd roll to bend bars.
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  #27  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:34 PM
Scuba_Ben Scuba_Ben is offline
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I'd roll to bend bars.
Nothing like the quick and obvious solution.
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  #28  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:46 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
This is very, very, very, very, very stupid.

For the record, though, the court didn't agree that D&D fosters gang activity. It said the D&D player (Singer) failed to prove that the prison was acting irrationaly when it decided D&D might lead to gang activity in the future and undermine prison security. He had to do that in order to show the officials were out of bounds and that they had to return his gaming materials. It's not that much of a difference, but it's a judicial ruling, so the truth is nitpicky: it's not enough that this interpretation of prison policy was incredibly moronic, and that not only did the prison officials not prove D&D is linked to gang activity, they straight-up admitted it hasn't lead to gang activity in the past.
Yet a further wrinkle: this was a summary judgment against Singer, which means that the court was obliged to treat resolve all factual disputes in Singer's favor. In other words, they had to decide that if there were a trial, and if at that trial everything Singer said was found to be true, and every time Singer's opponent made a factual claim that contradicted Singer, Singer's version was the correct one.... that if all that were true, then Singer would still lose.
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:02 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
Waupun, where the event took place, is a Maximum Security prison.
Ironic, since Waupun is only about 90 miles from Lake Geneva...which any good D&Der knows is the birthplace of the game.
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  #30  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:06 PM
ZPG Zealot ZPG Zealot is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Speaking as someone with actual experience in running prisons, that is one ridiculous regulation. I can't imagine any reason why I would forbid prisoners from playing role-playing games.
Some role-playing games, D&D among them, encourage a group to work together to achieve goals and use intelligence and creativity to solve problems. I don't think that is a good reasons to ban them at all, but I can see why the prison administration would prefer the prisoners dumb and unwilling to work together

Last edited by ZPG Zealot; 01-27-2010 at 03:06 PM..
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  #31  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:14 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I can see security problems. Ever seen a gamer meltdown because his 17th level thief didn't make his poisoned weapons saving throw? Now picture a 250 pound mentally unbalanced offender on a 40 year stretch for manslaughter doing the same.

Last edited by pravnik; 01-27-2010 at 03:15 PM..
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  #32  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:19 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Some role-playing games, D&D among them, encourage a group to work together to achieve goals and use intelligence and creativity to solve problems. I don't think that is a good reasons to ban them at all, but I can see why the prison administration would prefer the prisoners dumb and unwilling to work together
Yay, rehabilitation ! Social behaviour is overrated, anyway.
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  #33  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:33 PM
Malthus Malthus is online now
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The fact is, the prison didn't have to be "right" about whether or not D&D fosters gang activity. They just had to think it did in such a way as that their decision to remove the game was not aribitrary. Waupun, where the event took place, is a Maximum Security prison. The D&D playing plaintiff bludgeoned someone to death with a hammer. I'm just saying, you can't always get what you want after you murder someone. Does anyone really disagree with the idea that the prison has the right to say what privileges and pastimes are permitted within its walls, especially its Maximum Security walls?

The judge(s) didn't say that D&D fostered gang activity, they said it was reasonable for the prison to believe it might. Is that stupid? Yes, probably.

Lawful Evil strikes again.
Similar here in Canada.

In Canada at least, a judicial review of an administrative decision like that would depend on a couple of factors:

1. Did the prision official violate any of the the prisoner's rights under the Charter of Rights? I assume the answer here is likely to be "no"; and

2. Was the decision not rationally based?

On the latter point, the courts tend to defer to the decision-maker, assuming where that person has expertise in that area that the decision-maker has insight into how to do their job.

In short, they will not substitute their decision for that of the decision-maker merely because they would decide otherwise on the point, but only where there was no reasonable basis on which the decision could have been made; a fairly high onus to meet.

Edit: think of judical review as the prisioners' saving throw. In this case, they had to roll a "20". No surprise that they failed.

Last edited by Malthus; 01-27-2010 at 03:35 PM..
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:00 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
The FindLaw summary:
An alternative summary

Quote:
So there you have it, geek felons, leveling up is a privilege, not a right. And your clandestine efforts to steal control of the joint from the Aryans and Nortenos by forming a nerd herd have been thwarted, so say farewell to that +6 Shank of Many Uses and stop carving polyhedra out of soap. Too bad, 'The Rolling 20s' is a great name for a prison gang.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:05 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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I look forward to major D&D nerd Stephen Colbert getting a hold of this story. Anyway I understand the court's reasoning in backing the prison here but the confiscation itself does not make any kind of logical sense.
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  #36  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:12 PM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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I look forward to major D&D nerd Stephen Colbert getting a hold of this story. Anyway I understand the court's reasoning in backing the prison here but the confiscation itself does not make any kind of logical sense.
Clearly, Dr. Stephen Colbert, D.F.A., is now qualfied to serve as a consultant/talking head on prison reform. He enjoys keen insights into this little-understood, and highly dangerous, prison subculture.
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  #37  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:23 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post

Lawful Evil strikes again.
Depends on who you're talking about being Lawful Evil here. The prison officials may qualify, if they intended to harm or otherwise discomfit the prisoner. I'd say the 7th Circuit's action would be closer to Lawful Stupid Neutral. They appear to have decided the case according to the law, without malice or benevolence.

The prisoner is likely Chaotic by default, but could be Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil, or possibly even Chaotic Good if his crime had similar motives to the one committed by Billy Jack...
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  #38  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:27 PM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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Depends on who you're talking about being Lawful Evil here. The prison officials may qualify, if they intended to harm or otherwise discomfit the prisoner. I'd say the 7th Circuit's action would be closer to Lawful Stupid Neutral. They appear to have decided the case according to the law, without malice or benevolence.

The prisoner is likely Chaotic by default, but could be Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil, or possibly even Chaotic Good if his crime had similar motives to the one committed by Billy Jack...
Chaotic Good seems unlikely, given his history.
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  #39  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:33 PM
Grumman Grumman is offline
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Chaotic Good seems unlikely, given his history.
Agreed. Apparently the victim was his sister's boyfriend, and she testified against him during the murder trial.
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  #40  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:20 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Yet a further wrinkle: this was a summary judgment against Singer, which means that the court was obliged to treat resolve all factual disputes in Singer's favor. In other words, they had to decide that if there were a trial, and if at that trial everything Singer said was found to be true, and every time Singer's opponent made a factual claim that contradicted Singer, Singer's version was the correct one.... that if all that were true, then Singer would still lose.
It's been a long time since you have practiced. You have described the way it works for the rich and powerful. Impoverished parties are routinely dismissed on summary judgment and appeals buried in quick unpublished decisions in California. The one good thing that has happened in recent years is that in federal court you can cite unpublished opinions. Many state courts do not allow that, including California. All sorts of interesting things happen in unpublished opinions: clear repeated objections in records suddenly do not exist and only one party's interpretation of the facts are considered.

That said, prison wouldn't be much of a punishment if people like me were allowed to play D & D to while away the time. It would be like getting lifetime appointment to District Court.

Last edited by The Second Stone; 01-27-2010 at 05:22 PM..
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  #41  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Bricker Bricker is online now
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It's been a long time since you have practiced. You have described the way it works for the rich and powerful.
It has, and I never practiced civil law at all, so the whole notion of summary judgement is theoretical to me -- I guess the closest criminal analog would be a motion to quash the indictment.

But I do remember that long-ago Civil Pro class and the distinction between Rule 56 and 12(b)(6) motions, at least, as I say, in theory.
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  #42  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:47 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Obligatory Penny Arcade summation:

Gwaihir In The House
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  #43  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:53 PM
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Yah, it's hard to follow - not least because DMs (good ones, anyway) really *don't* give "absolutely guidance and direction" to the other players. DMs don't give orders, other than purely mechanical instruction - "okay, roll to see if cast magic missile worked ..."
/*Incredibly nerdy pedantic nitpick*/

Magic Missiles don't require a 'to hit' role and allow no saving throw.
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  #44  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:57 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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How strange. I can possibly see the angle that Bubba would throw an almightily violent rage-fit when the DM killed off his 20th level Kobold thief, but still...isn't fantasizing about a world other than that which they are currently in what prisoners do to pass the time?

I can think of books that they are allowed to read that are quite a bit more subversive than playing D&D.

Last edited by FoieGrasIsEvil; 01-27-2010 at 05:58 PM..
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  #45  
Old 01-27-2010, 06:04 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
/*Incredibly nerdy pedantic nitpick*/

Magic Missiles don't require a 'to hit' role and allow no saving throw.
/*Incredibly nerdy pedantic nitpick*/ Under current 4th edition rules, you roll it Int against Reflex defense and do 2d4 plus Intelligence Modifier damage.

Also it counts as a ranged basic attack.

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  #46  
Old 01-27-2010, 06:10 PM
villa villa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
You have described the way it works for the rich and powerful.
Hey - even the rich and powerful need justice in civil cases! And thank God for that, means I can pay my mortgage.

I'm always surprised at the success of summary judgment motions even between large parties, both ably (and expensively) represented. While it doesn't always get rid of the whole of the case, it's pretty common that the case gets trimmed down at that stage.
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  #47  
Old 01-27-2010, 06:50 PM
Danimal Danimal is offline
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If the prison officials had said openly: "Prison is for punishment; forbidding fun things makes the punishment worse, and thus more of a deterrent; D&D is fun, so we're forbidding it," I could respect that. I might not agree with it, but it would be rationally related to a penal purpose. And I certainly don't think that anybody, much less a prisoner, has a constitutional right to play D&D.

But D&D promotes gang activity or is a security risk? Nope. Not rational, not even remotely related to any existing evidence. If this is a rational basis, anything is; you might as well get rid of the rational basis test completely.
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  #48  
Old 01-27-2010, 07:11 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Prison security officials are given wide latitude in deciding what inmate group activities are and are not allowed. Period. The concept of "freedom of association" doesn't go very far in correctional institutions.
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  #49  
Old 01-27-2010, 07:27 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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That said, prison wouldn't be much of a punishment if people like me were allowed to play D & D to while away the time. It would be like getting lifetime appointment to District Court.
That's because people like you probably don't go to prison in great numbers. I suspect most folks who end up in prison would view hanging out with nerds as itself a punishment.

Meanwhile, I think it's a great idea for prisoners to develop new, non-destructive hobbies in the Big House. Learning to spend their time rolling dice and talking about magic (and incidentally, getting along with other people) is probably a lot better than beating up random people for wearing the wrong clothes, or shooting up drugs, or whatever they were doing before they went in.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:35 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
/*Incredibly nerdy pedantic nitpick*/

Magic Missiles don't require a 'to hit' role and allow no saving throw.
But, under 1st Edition rules, they may be blocked by magic resistance; absorbed by a broach of shielding; reflected by a ring (can't remember the name), absorbed by a Staff of the Magi (or Power), captured by a ring of spell storing; or blocked by minor globe of invulnerability, globe of invulnerability, or prismatic sphere.
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