The total incarcerated population in the United States has hovered over two million individuals since 2002. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, that number jumps to 6.6 million if you include people on supervised probation or parole. That’s more than the entire population of Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico and Montana, combined. A federal study found that within five years of release, 76 percent of prisoners were put behind bars again. In an effort to reduce the prison population, lower recidivism rates and strengthen public safety, elected officials have recently pushed for new methods of reform.
One approach to reform is through education and training. When the RAND Corporation researched the effectiveness of correctional education, they found that inmates who participated in education programs had a 43 percent lower chance of recidivating than those who did not.
Moreover, just as technology supports learning in academic settings, inmates see a benefit from the use of tablets or computers in correctional education settings. The Tech Edvocate explains, “Research shows that many inmates didn’t have access to educational resources prior to serving their time in prison. Edtech can help put an end to the cycle that keeps them locked behind bars by granting freedom through education.”
Tablets Generate a Positive Response in Sacramento Jail
Fans of the new Netflix docu-series Jailbirds get an inside look into the lives of Sacramento County Main Jail inmates and the deputies who work there. As reported in the Sacramento Bee, “Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sgt. Tess Deterding said the series ‘really started to look like an opportunity to showcase the services we have going on,’ such as vocational and educational programs and other resources like drug treatment.” One of the showcased services is a digital learning platform provided by Edovo. If you watch the six-episode series, you’ll see inmates with the same Edovo tablets that are utilized by correctional facilities across the country. With pre-loaded tablets, Edovo is bringing daily access to educational content, meaningful rehabilitation programming, and affordable communication to the Sacramento County Main Jail.
Since launching a pilot project to distribute tablets in Sacramento, the correctional staff has been “won over by the program and the effect it has had on inmates.” Officials also say they haven’t had any issues with the tablets. “Inmates have used them toward obtaining their high school diplomas, parenting classes and domestic violence courses. Other courses offered through their intranet include mechanics and career-based learning options.”
Seven Key Reasons to Consider Tablets
In addition to offering software and tools which allow inmates to practice new skills, earn tangible certificates and take classes, there are several other benefits to putting tablets into secure circulation.
- Increases efficiency by moving facilities closer to paperless processes
- Maintains connections to inmates’ support systems at home
- Incentives positive behavior
- Prepares inmates with the 21st-century skills needed to obtain jobs upon release
- Provides a sense of normalcy
- Decreases incidents of violence
- Replaces the need for standard textbooks which can be costly to provide
Overcoming Security Challenges
When an agency is looking to bring handheld devices or laptops into a correctional facility, they are simultaneously looking for the safest, most secure tablet charging station. Not only for charging but for storage as well. That’s why if you look closely in the first episode of Jailbirds, you’ll see LocknCharge charging solutions in the background of several scenes.
With durable construction, two-point locking systems and optional floor-mounting anchor kits to safeguard a fleet of tablets, Tablet Charging Carts are an essential piece of a successful implementation. Device Baskets by LocknCharge help keep things organized and easy to distribute, collect and assess any missing pieces. Also, the effortless mobility of the carts allows prison staff to roll devices from one unit to another and back to their storage hub for cleaning, charging and letting software updates run overnight. The Carts include unique, secure cabling systems that ensure cords can’t be easily removed and used to charge contraband smartphones.