Oklahoma's prisoners watch cable television

Life in prison sucks, which it's supposed to. But during these hard economic times, some prisoners might be better off than some General Motors employees.

It was reported last week by The Associated Press that the state spends $280,000 a year to pipe in cable television at Oklahoma correctional facilities. The state has 17 prisons and five community corrections centers. This must be so inmates can keep up on the latest stock quotes and get money advice from Jim Cramer's CNBC show "Mad Money." They've got to invest those earnings from making government furniture somewhere, after all.

Apparently, the money to pay for the cable comes from the selling of canteen items to the inmates, like snacks and personal hygiene stuff. Prisons officials reported bringing in more than $1.5 million from those sales.

You would think the money would be better spent on hiring a few more corrections officers, but getting to watch rapper Flavor Flav's "Flavor of Love" is more important.

"We can utilize television for a number of things " educational programs or treatment programs," said Jerry Massie, spokesman for the state Corrections Department.

"It's also a good time occupier. People are going to prison and staying there for long periods of time. Most people find out what's going on in the world through television. For them, it's a way to keep up on what's happening outside the prison environment."

Like Britney Spears' comeback and Madonna's divorce. Maybe they are getting some education by watching all those crime detective shows on the Discovery Channel.

Well, it's nice to know that during these hard economic times, convicts are enjoying their favorite episodes of "Dog Whisperer" and "Reno 911!"

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