New York State prisoners are set to receive free tablet computers in order to “better prepare convicts for life after imprisonment.”
Though the tablets will not be connected to the internet, prisoners “will have access to educational content, eBooks, and music,” while they will also be able to use the technology to “file grievances and contact their family and friends,” according to Fox News.
“Inmates who plan to send emails have to do so during a scheduled time at a controlled kiosk, and can only contact people who have been approved by authorities,” they explained, adding that the tablets “won’t be paid for by the state of New York, but rather by corrections services company JPay as part of a contract with the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.”
JPay will make their money from purchases the inmates make through the tablets.
In a statement, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision claimed the tablet program “is part of a contractual agreement the Department recently entered into with JPay.”
Clarification on the new tablet initiative at DOCCS. pic.twitter.com/bRv9asGTYh
— NYS DOCCS (@NYSDOCCS) January 31, 2018
“The contract includes the company providing each inmate a tablet free of charge,” the Department continued. “The tablet initiative is not dependent on the budget as there are no state funds being used, nor is the Department taking commissions.”
Last year, 8,000 Colorado inmates were given tablet computers as part of a similar agreement with GTL Corp.
Like JPay’s agreement, inmates received free devices, with GTL Corp. expecting to make their money through digital purchases.
Indiana prison officials also proposed giving inmates free tablet computers so they could communicate with family and further their education.