Prisoners get new flatscreen televisions

Who said crime doesn't pay?
Who said crime doesn't pay?

Prisoners in Massachusetts jails are getting an upgrade, and for some, it's just in time for the Super Bowl.

More than 100 flatscreen HD televisions were purchased for the Bay State's 18 jails.

No taxpayers funds were used for the purchase. The televisions were paid for out of an "inmate benefit fund," with the proceeds coming from a vendor sale of toiletries, candy and other goods, according to Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin.

During the tough economic times, many are upset that prisions are spending money on fancy televisions for inmates.

"I think it's the wrong idea, wrong time. You know these guys aren't meant to pay any fines; they're not made to pay an restitution and they get free tvs out of the deal," said Steven Kenneyway, of the Corrections Officer Union.

The 117 televisions cost close to $76,958. The decision to purchase the new televisions was not for the Super Bowl, but to upgrade all the analog televisions in the prisons before the February 17 digital transition deadline.

"If they're going to be using the canteen money, they shouldn't be using it for tvs. I mean get the converter box like everyone else has to do," said Ilona Monat, a Massachusetts resident.

The tvs will not be in individual cells and some will not be installed in time for the Superbowl.