Under a new state contract, all inmates in New York State prisons will receive free tablets.
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is partnering with JPay, a company that specializes in inmate and corrections-related services. JPay is providing the tablets at no cost to the state or inmates, and DOCCS is not taking commissions for the tablets.
Acting Commissioner Annucci: in a groundbreaking move the Department will provide each incarcerated individual a tablet, at no cost, with the ability to access free educational material and eBooks and to file grievances
— NYS DOCCS (@NYSDOCCS) January 30, 2018
The tablets will be preloaded with educational content, and DOCCS plans to make additional services available through the tablets, such as Prison Rape Elimination Act reporting, Grievance filing, and the potential for placing commissary orders.
The tablets will not be able to connect to the internet, but inmates will be able to use the tablets to purchase music, e-books, videos, and other entertainment. They will also be able to connect to aa secure e-mail system to communicate with family and friends as approved by DOCCS.
Clarification on the new tablet initiative at DOCCS. pic.twitter.com/bRv9asGTYh
— NYS DOCCS (@NYSDOCCS) January 31, 2018
State corrections officials say they believe using the tablets will help inmates stay in touch with their families and be better prepared to reenter into the community.