Why It’s Illegal for Prisoners to Masturbate

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Some inmates are getting thrown in solitary for seeking a little stress relief.

 No Masturbate in US prisons.Nine months in the hole. No books—aside from the Bible—and few breaks. It’s the purgatory 29-year-old Josh Richards* (behind bars on an aggravated assault charge—a shootout when he was 18) says he’s serving for masturbating in his prison cell. Richards claims he was recently caught masturbating for the first time in 12 years of incarceration when a female guard peeked her head in during night checks. He got a ticket—no big deal. But a short time later, when another prisoner was caught masturbating and ran off, the blame was pinned on Richards, and he was slapped with nine months in solitary confinement. “I’m two years away from going home—I’m not looking for trouble—and now I’m in the hole and have this on my record.”

Public masturbation (and it’s pretty much all public when you’re locked up) along with any other kind of sexual behavior is banned in US prisons—kind of a surprise if you figured self-satisfaction was one of those few freedoms the incarcerated could keep. According to Justin Long, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the rule exists to keep inmates and staff safe, since masturbation can be intimidating, offensive, or serve as a precursor to sexual assault or fights. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON TONIC.COM

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