Go to jail, get a free tablet–at least, that’s what’s going to be happening soon in New York prisons.
Under a new state contract, all inmates in New York State prisons will receive free tablets, courtesy of a company called JPay.
JPay, which currently handles prison commissaries and care packages sent to inmates by family members, will provide the tablets at no cost to taxpayers or inmates.
According to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervisions (DOCCS), will come preloaded with “educational material and eBooks,” as well as the ability to “file grievances” online and email loved ones. The tablets could also enable the inmates to place commissary orders in the future.
JPay plans to profit off the tablets by getting a fixed percent from each transaction that occurs on the tablets–whether the inmate is buying ebooks, music, or movies.
The tablets will not be able to directly connect to the internet. Instead, inmates will have to plug their tablet into a supervised kiosk at scheduled times, where they can send email drafts and buy new content.
The DOCCS claims that the tablet program will help inmates keep in touch with their loved ones, and also help them reintegrate back into the community.