The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is partnering with Securus Technologies to get tablets in the hands of incarcerated inmates.
Thousands of tablets will be distributed to correctional facilities throughout the state.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections chief administrator of communications and government relations Justin Wolf said the initiative will provide inmates with more resources to the outside world.
“These tablets are also individual phones and they act as phones for the inmates to the same extent the inmates who already had phone privileges before,” Wolf said. “So now instead of having a few phones to share mounted on the wall of the day room, each inmate can have a phone to take back to their own room or cell and have a little bit more privacy.”
Wolf said the tablets also offer educational opportunities. The department is working towards a video call feature for inmates with families that may not be able to travel for in-person visitation.
Wolf also believes this will help with reducing recidivism by improving their computer literacy skills.
“If our inmates have been in our custody for a number of years, one of the challenges with reintegration, if you go to a place to apply for a job unlike just a few years ago, a lot of businesses no longer accept paper applications or resumes,” Wolf said. “That process is a totally online process.”
Wolf added that these tablets do not have access to the internet and all functionalities of the tablets are controlled by the Department of Corrections.
“There are things like security countermeasures, anti-tampering notifications and any attempt at misuse of the tablets provides a notification to staff and staff have the ability to deactivate any of the tablets from central and make sure that the tablets are only used appropriately in approved ways,” Wolf said.
Even though a tablet is available for each inmate, Wolf said the facilities are in charge of when they can be used and any privilege restrictions.
The new program should be fully rolled out to every Department of Corrections facility by the fall.