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Reston Company’s Tablet Computer Aids Inmates

by Karen Goff July 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm 14 Comments

GTL Tablet/Courtesy GTLA Reston company has developed a tablet computer that can link inmates with the outside world while still maintaining the kind of security a prison system demands.

Global Tel*Link (GTL)’s Inspire inmate tablets have telephone, educational materials, and streaming music capabilities, which provide secure communication and educational materials, among other benefits. It also can prevent fights over using the public phones, jail personnel say. The tablets do not have general Internet access.

“We believe that the Inspire devices are the future of inmate communications, education and entertainment,” Anthony Bambocci, GTL’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a release. “They improve a facility’s operational efficiencies by reducing costs and conflicts over access to phones, and have nearly limitless educational possibilities. … Our devices have been inspected, reviewed and tested by corrections security staff and other experts in the field, making us confident they adhere to the strictest correctional security standards.”

GTL, which provides a number of telcom products for correctional institutions, says the tablets benefit both inmates and correctional facilities. For the facilities, using them will save paper and streamline administrative tasks. The facility can also load the tablets with educational content, which could include prison rules and guidelines, training manuals for inmate jobs, life skills educational materials and more.

The Reston company says that entertainment options such as streaming music have the potential to help inmates to better cope with their circumstances and promote positive mood. The combinations of these apps can better prepare inmates for life upon release, with the intent to reduce recidivism, they said.

The tablet is being tested at several facilities nationwide. In Alameda County, Calif., inmates are able to use the device to place calls of up to four hours long in the privacy and comfort of their own cell. That offers increased communication with friends and family, which may also reduce recidivism, officials there said. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Detention and Corrections Unit has also provided educational content on the tablets.

“Using the Inspire tablets has allowed us to provide valuable educational content to our inmates, helping them to prepare for productive lives once they are released,” said Gregory Ahern, Alameda County Sheriff. “In addition, providing tablets to individuals has lessened conflicts surrounding the use of traditional inmate phones and given inmates productive ways to spend their time.”

  • Ming the Merciless

    What a despicable project. Inmates should not be allowed to communicate, especially not in the “privacy and comfort” of their cell. Prison is supposed to involve PUNISHMENT. If you wanted to have long chats with your family, you should have thought of that before you committed those crimes.

    And yeah, I’m sure they’re really going to use those tablets for education and self-improvement, and not for watching prn and trying to run scams on people who are outside the walls.

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    Wait until these people find use the devices to google how to make meth, or start stalking/harassing their victims on facebook/twitter/etc. Or when the inmates start getting on Tinder and keep swiping right.

    What a joke

    • Karen Goff

      Does not appear the tablets have internet access.

      • Emmanuel Goldstein

        If the device has “streaming music capabilities” that leads one to believe it has to access a network of some sort. I doubt the mental brain-trust at the DoC is going to air gap the networks. Someone will find a way to get online with it

    • JCSuperstar

      GTL has been around a long time providing all types of services to the public sector. There are many companies that provide “behind-the-bars” capabilities (like GTL) that actually create efficiencies in very antiquated environments — saving taxpayer dollars, reducing risk by eliminating need for in-house facilities like libraries, meeting rooms, etc. None of these devices are connected to the internet, or, to the facility’s network — they are one directional — no outbound comms . These devices only provide pre-approved offerings like e-books (to get GED,) music, and instructional videos.

  • Leslie Sogandares

    Opportunity to educate=opportunity to progress. Seems simple to me.

    • Ming the Merciless

      If they were interested in education or “progress”, they wouldn’t be in prison in the first place.

      • Cluster Tycoon

        If I can trust the news and their recent stories many people go to jail for the wrong reasons or no reason at all. US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The tough on crime stance has backfired for many politicians incl Bill Clinton whose mandatory life sentences on Crack have many still rotting in jail. So I heard!

        That said the people that support tough on crime probably also support kicking out migrant workers and illegals. Because that means we can put people to work that would otherwise just sit in jail. Personally I would prefer criminals not being part of the food distribution network,, in the national interest.

        Ming, you strike me as a deep thinker. Perhaps enlighten me with one of your wise responses. Thanks

  • AlliD

    I hope the inmates have to buy this and not our tax dollars. I’d rather fully fund fcps than fund this nonsense.

  • shagga

    inmates can have tablets for educational purposes AFTER every American child is issued one for school K – 12.

  • Cluster Tycoon

    I hope it runs Linux cuz every other system lends itself to horse play. Also, good to know that Reston still holds true for innovative thinking – not the usual school to prison pipeline stuff.

    • shagga

      giving prisoners whack pads isn’t innovative, its a waste of tax dollars.

      • JCSuperstar

        The Reston-based GTL has been doing this a long time. It’s offerings help institutions save tax dollars nationwide.

  • Cluster Tycoon

    Hint. He is from Austria.

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