FLORIDA—The people who actually run the Florida prison system were acting like human beings, and treating the inmates like human beings, by looking the other way when it came to the possession by inmates of magazines like Penthouse and Playboy. Unfortunately, Edwin Buss, the state’s new Corrections Secretary, noticed a centerfold pinned to a wall during a prison tour and immediately issued a dire warning.
"It is the goal of Department to prohibit pornographic material, to include material that verbally or pictorially depicts actual or simulated sexual intercourse; masturbation; sadomasochist abuse; lewd exhibition of the genitals or contact with unclothed genitals, buttocks, pubic area, or female breasts; acts of sexual battery or simulated sexual battery; and nudity creating the appearing of imminent sexual conduct (e.g. display of aroused sexual organs),” the new boss proclaimed.
He also placed all staff on notice that “any inmate who is found introducing possessing, or passing pornographic material shall be punished to the maximum extent provided in Chapter 33-601, Florida Administrative Code.” None of the news reports indicate whether penalties will be levied against staff for not reporting inmates, but the inmates could face time added to their sentence if they’re caught with sexual contraband.
According to a Florida Corrections spokesperson, the state’s anti-porn policy finally has some “teeth.”
A look through the Administrative Code finds no mention of pornography whatsoever, including in Section 3—Contraband, which is defined as “Any article not sold in the canteen, or issued by the institution, or for which you do not have a specific permit authorized by the institution where presently housed.”
It is that general prohibition that renders porn unauthorized to possess in the Florida corrections system, but it was not identified specifically as such until Buss’ letter was issued July 22.
In other words, Buss, who also recently announced a system-wide ban on smoking, made the personal decision to add pornography to the named list of contraband items rather than keep it an unnamed offense that could be activated when necessary.
"My general counsel joked to me, 'You're no fun,'" Buss reportedly said. "No cigarettes, no porn."
It’s not that he’s no fun, of course. He’s just a dick.