Prison inmates within the states of Colorado and South Dakota will soon have access to their own tablet computers.
According to WNCN, the privately funded program is aimed at helping inmates access educational programs and maintain ties to friends and family, in hopes of reducing recidivism rates.
Tablets are being given to inmates within the South Dakota Department of Corrections by telephone provider Global Tel Link. The devices are connected to a closed network, so inmates won’t be able to surf the internet or log into social accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
KDVR also reports every inmate in a Colorado will have a computer tablet by the end of 2017. There will be a replacement charge of $200 and a charge for inmates to talk to and text family and friends and/or play games. No photos or attachments are allowed.
The need for prison reform is part of the reason for the tablets. South Dakota Department of Corrections Secretary Denny Kaemingk says tablets may also provide opportunities for GED and college-level courses, anger management and other educational programs.
“I don’t think it’s something that society needs to be afraid of because we don’t have all this access that they think we have,” Amanda Hall, an inmate at the La Vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo, Colorado told KDVR.
Hall says she hopes to use the tablet to keep in touch with her three-year-old daughter in Montana.