The penal colony is pretty much a propaganda center. Everyone wears work overalls and does manual labor. They have no replicator or holodeck privileges and they have to talk to Betazoid counselors every day. Their only entertainment is to read the books and magazines and comics produced by the writing school, all about the wondrous Federation and how good citizens work to better themselves. It's a symbiotic relationship.
What DS9 never tells you is that Anselm is all about a young man's journey from selfish lusts and pleasures into the glorious Federation root beer paradise.