Polyhedron Dice, Gambling, & VA DOC’s Bad Policies – David J Annarelli

Polyhedron dice. We are currently working to get these approved at the Virginia Dept. of Corrections facility, Pocahontas State Corruption Center. Polyhedron dice are used in most Role Playing Games (RPGs) & a full set consists of seven individual dice. A four sided di, a six, eight, two ten sided, a twelves sided, & the most commonly used a twenty sided. They are regularly abbreviated as: d4, d6, d8, d10, d10%, d12, & d20. Currently, “dice” are banned in the Virginia DOC, predicated on various & changing reasons that eventually – as per usual- ended under the overused euphemism of “security.” there is, of course, some vague obligatory attempts to pass it off as “stopping gambling,” but like most VA DOC policies & plans it is poorly thought out. Also, it does not work & illustrates yet another, frankly embarrassingly silly folly, by an antiquated & archaic institution found on & reliant upon slavery.

The reason this policy is poorly thought out is an all too simple & mundane. If people want to gamble, they will find or create things to gamble on. Banning dice did not stop this, & that the VAC DOC did not (& could not) ban playing cards – poker or pinochle decks – or any & all sports speaks volumes about a policy that on its face is foolish. To gamble, any captive can get the “Vegas Line” with a simple phone call, & there is also one more problem with such simple-minded pettiness: Virginia just legalized gambling. Banning dice – & only dice – on so weak a foundation as “security: as the pretense of “stopping gambling,” in a state that now has legal gambling is not only just plain silly, but also the worst sort of hypocrisy. It also exemplifies a lack of critical thinking skills, which, given Virginia’s terrible handling of marijuana legalization – & everything else – is an ongoing problem & not an isolated exception.

The ban on dice also doesn’t work. Dice are made out of soap, paper, or epoxy. Spinners are made with cardboard & pens. As the old adage goes: “Where there is a will, there is a way,” & nowhere is that maxim more obvious – & liberally applied – than in prison. All no time are captives truly stopped by a DOC policy. Captives, consistently smarter than prison staff, find a way. No DOC, especially not the VA DOC (being amongst the worst in the nation_ has found a way to enforce a policy that the captives refuse to acknowledge or adhere to. Where betting is concerned, the captives will bet on anything. To that point, there was just recently a pool on who would get promotions among the PSCC staff. I very rarely gamble, but this was simply too novel to pass up, & I won $5.00 on the Chief of Housing & Programs (CHaP).

As always, & yet further evidence as to just how obtuse the VA DOC is, the ban on dice now carried the usual caveat – & overused euphemism – of “security.” Fools, & of the worst type, with no more than two or three equally overused playbook. This is proven out by an implied security risk of “hiding things” in the dice. It certainly cannot be implied or said that dice could be used as a weapon. On its face this – either, or – is ludicrous. There are far better options available to captives on either account, & specifically where hiding things if of concern, take note that all reports point out that 90% of VA DOC contraband is provided by VA DOC staff. But more than that, polyhedron dice come in various translucent varieties. No one will be holding anything in something that is see through. On top of that, the amount of time it would take a captive to drill a proper hole, so the plug would fit seamlessly back in place, not only to the observing eye, but also so it wouldn’t pop out should a guard choose to “roll the dice” on a security check, is in all but the worst extreme of situations a waste of time & effort. Simpler options, tried & true, abound.

You can make this crap up, & someone in the VA DOC obviously is. Allow me to opine that whoever it is that is coming up with this crap, is not only suffering from a lack of real creativity as well as severe intellectual deficiencies, but is in fact a real threat to the entirety of humanity. I can, absolutely, picturing theme urinating in the local well.

Banning dice, or anything in regards to RPGs or gaming in general, is among the lowest points humans could fall to. Aside from the numerous & clear ways that such a plan fails on every level, what sort of people would even consider such a thing? Hitler, maybe?

This goes far beyond the usual level of fascist nonsense. It takes idiocy & stupidity – which have, too long & habitually, had their way – to a whole new level. It provides zero use under the stated goals of “correction, reform & rehabilitation.” Finally, it serves only to poke another hole through the moth eaten curtain, which is increasingly obvious illusion that the VA DOC serves. ANY legitimate purpose or social good.

Remove the ban on dice, if for no other reason that the VA DOC embarrassing itself, & all of Virginia. Virginia, & its DOC, are sad & petty. The VA DOC is also a growing fiscal nightmare.

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