But it has emerged that inmates at Scottish prisons have access to a massive library of violent films and computer games.
Criminals including murderers, violent thugs and rapists can pick from more than 4100 DVDs and 470 computer games across the Scottish prison system.
The collection includes controversial games such as Grand Theft Auto IV, gang crime movies such as Snatch and DVDs featuring controversial comedian Roy "Chubby" Brown.
Earlier this year a Holyrood committee recommended that limits should be placed on the amount of TV watched by inmates. However, in January Scottish Prison Service chief executive Colin McConnell said he was a fan of TVs in cells for prisoners, with "loads of positives that come from that".
The Scottish Prison Service yesterday said the DVDs and games were paid for out of a common good fund financed from the profits of prison shops, and that access was restricted by governors.
Convicts at HMP Barlinnie have access to 1255 movie and TV titles, according to documents released under Freedom of Information legislation. These include the violent thriller Kill Bill 2, in which Uma Thurman carries out a string of brutal killings.
Prisoners have access to documentary series Notorious Killers and Serial Killers, which chart the lives of murderers such as Dennis Nilsen, Fred and Rose West and the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.
Meanwhile, youths locked up in Scotland's only Young Offenders Institution at Polmont, near Falkirk, can play Grand Theft Auto IV, which is controversial as it encourages players to drink-drive and commit murder to progress through its fictional world. The list of 18-rated movie titles available include Green Street - which has been criticised for "glorifying" football hooliganism - and crime-themed titles such as Scarface, Smokin' Aces and The Departed. Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: "The fact we are debating what severity of horror films prisoners should be allowed to watch tells you everything you need to know about jail in today's Scotland.
"Inmates should consider themselves lucky to be able to watch or play any type of DVD or computer game. The fact access to the most violent and gory appears widely available needs to be looked at."
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: "Access to watching DVDs is a privilege not a right and is available at the discretion of the Governor. The vast majority of these DVDs are gifted by prisoners, donated by visitors or bought through the prisoners' Common Good Fund."
Earlier this year SPS chief executive Colin McConnell caused controversy when he told MSPs television could be a window on the world for inmates.
He said: "It's about keeping informed about what's going on and actually it's a displacement activity as well.
"If it stops somebody thinking horrible thoughts about themselves or others and encourages discourse about Coronation Street, the news or whatever it might be, I think there's loads of positives that come from that."