8,000 prison inmates in Colorado have been given computer tablets with the ability to call loved ones from the inside, play games, read books, and listen to music. “Until February, Andrew Stiern could only speak with his girlfriend on a phone in a prison day hall while 10 other inmates listened in and waited impatiently in line behind him,” reported The Denver Post . “Now the 29-year-old inmate can kick back in the limited privacy of his cell at Four Mile Correctional Center in Cañon City and call his girl on a new computer tablet anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. He can also use the same device to listen to his favorite tunes from a streaming cache of 12 million songs, read books or play video games to his heart’s content.” GTL Corp’s Inspire pilot program seeks to distribute tablets to over 18,000 prison inmates, and eventually to every prisoner in the United States, according to The Denver Post. It is reportedly “designed to give inmates access to a wide range of media, including educational programming, but also creates a new revenue stream for GTL, which specializes in inmate telecommunications and payment systems.” “It’s great. I’m kind of the tablet rep guy,” said inmate Andrew Stiern to The Post. “When you are in prison, you are cut off from the outside world. You want your mind to be focused on positive things. It’s kind of an escape from this world. These tabs have become a new piece of life in here.” Though some believe that the tablets could help deflate friction between prison gangs over prison phone use, other correctional officers and victims group representatives are skeptical of the program. “I’m a little stunned. They are not there to be catered to and offered all the comforts of home,” said Rob Wells, the president of Families of Victims of Homicide and Missing Persons. “I’m not pleased with it. Some of them are gang members and have been involved in some pretty nasty stuff. They shouldn’t be given something that will give them an opportunity to continue their criminal enterprises in prison. How are they going to monitor this?”
Exactly!! This is a stunningly BAD idea on oh so many levels.