Banning Porn in Prison Is 'Impossible,' Canadian Officials Say

Aug 29, 2013 4:30 PM PST

NOVA SCOTIA, Canada — When former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced his intention to “put an end to this unacceptable practice,” referring to inmates checking out XXX content on their TVs, the penal system attempted to comply. However, a new briefing document suggests that the directive may be impossible to enforce.

The document was compiled after the topic of the availability of explicit materials in prison resurfaced on the agenda of a February meeting between Toews and Don Head, commissioner for the Correctional Service of Canada.    

“There are operational and legal limits … to an absolute ban,” the document stated and continued: “Operationally, for instance with respect to the TV/cable packages that offenders pay for, sometimes sexually explicit programming is available as part of the package — it would be impossible to stop access to these materials in these cases.”

Because the materials in question are available to the general public, can be legally obtained by those over 18 in Canada and are paid for out of the offenders’ pockets, the authors of the document argue that prisoners have a legal right to them.

Current Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has voiced his dissatisfaction with the conclusion, saying, through a spokesperson, that the practice is “completely unacceptable.”

The spokesperson added that it is Blaney’s understanding that sexually explicit materials are not, and will not, be available to Canadian inmates.

Earlier this month, the Connecticut Department of Corrections was forced to reverse its decision to remove the novel “She’s Come Undone” from circulation after it received intense criticism on social media platforms. The Oprah Book Club pick was originally removed for its alleged graphic content.  

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