You may be as shocked as I was to learn what 8,000 Colorado prisoners have recently been given.

According to the Denver Post, 8,000 Colorado inmates have been given free computer tablets through a program that hopes to eventually get tablets to some 18,000 inmates in all 20 Colorado prisons.

The idea it sounds like is to make prisoners happier, thus reducing friction between rival gangs, and consequently fewer prison problems.

Of course, there are security concerns when it comes to inmates having contact with the free world, but, aside from that, I'm a little skeptical about giving a device to a prisoner that will allow him to access educational information, music streaming, and video games.

I always thought that breaking the law and going to prison meant you gave up your privileges and that fun time was over.

I understand the idea of wanting to change behavior, keep the peace, and reward good behavior, but it seems to me to be sending the wrong message about prison life.Jail time suddenly doesn't seem so horrible. Isn't that what it's supposed to be? A place that people want to avoid at all cost?

There are consequences and penalties that must be paid for breaking the law. It is truly unfortunate that men and women have to spend years - even a lifetime-- behind bars, but the fact is, that was their choice. Commit the crime, do the time.

Maybe we should be looking for ways to make prison less pleasant rather than trying to make it a more enjoyable place.