All inmates in New York State prisons will be receiving electronic tablets free of charge that officials are hoping will prepare convicts for life outside of the prison system.
The tablets will allow inmates to access “educational content, eBooks and music” as well as “help inmates file grievances and allow them to communicate with family and friends through a secure email system,” PIX 11 reported on Wednesday.
While the tablets will supposedly not connect to the internet, inmates will also be able to access “videos” and “other entertainment” as well as have access to “Prison Rape Elimination Act reporting” and “the potential for placing commissary orders,” WKBW reported. Fox News added:
... 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.
The electronic devices 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 reportedly make money if an inmate decides to make a purchase, such as additional books, on the tablet.
The New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement that they would not be taking commissions from the tablets, which will go to over 50,000 inmates.