A new state contract will provide all inmates in New York State prisons with free tablets that will allow access to music, e-books, videos, and other entertainment, as well as the ability to file grievances and report incidents of rape.
The New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has partnered with corrections services provider JPay to provide the tablets free of charge to inmates and the state.
JPay, which is also in charge of the prison commissary and a care package service for inmates, plans on recuperating the costs from transactions made from the tablets, such as purchasing movies and music.
Anthony J. Annucci, the corrections department acting commissioner, called the new prison perk a “groundbreaking move,” in a Twitter statement Tuesday.
“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,” Annucci said.
The tablets won’t have formal internet access, however, inmates will be allowed to send emails to an approved list of recipients at controlled kiosks during scheduled hours. Prison officials believe email will help prisoners stay in touch with their families and re-adjust to society when they are released.
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