Nova Scotia

Crackdown on prison porn at Springhill

The federal government is cracking down on access to adult material for prisoners.

Government blocks late-night cable movies

Prisoners had access to late-night cable movies, including some with adult content.

The federal government is cracking down on access to adult material for prisoners.

Prisoners have had the right to look at pornographic material such as movies or magazines so long as it is legally sold and doesn't go against the inmate's treatment plan.  

A former inmate CBC News spoke to said it was common to watch late-night cable TV for adult content.

"They have HBO, the Movie Network — a lot of adult things are on those networks. I don't think it's exclusively pornography, but you can watch pornography," he said.

CBC is not naming the man because he fears repercussions from the Correctional Service of Canada.

He said he and other inmates occasionally watched adult content.

"I think once or twice I watched it. No big deal. Not everyone there is porn crazy," he said.

'Unacceptable' says Toews

But when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews discovered inmates at the Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia were watching adult content on cable, he shut it down. 

His spokeswoman, Julie Carmichael, explained his reasoning.

"Obviously this is unacceptable as pornography is a contraband item within correctional institutions.  As soon as Minister Toews was made aware, he directed his officials to immediately put a stop to this unacceptable practice," she said.

"He is pleased to report that the offending channels have been removed."

The ex-inmate CBC spoke to said prisoners are still allowed to subscribe to whatever legal magazines they chose and can have staff buy magazines on their behalf.

CBC News pointed out the discrepancy to Carmichael, but she said pornographic materials are not permitted, nor provided, to inmates.

The government will put digital locks on prison TVs to block adult content.

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