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May 10, 2017

In the year 2000... inmates in western prisons will be getting computer tablets (and will be charged for the privilege)

For whatever strange reason, I just noticed two articles about prisoners in two states being given access to computer tablets and that led me to think of referencing in my post title an old-school Conan skit.  Silly pop-culture reference notwithstanding, here are links to the articles and a few details:

"Colorado prison inmates getting computer tablets"

Every inmate in a Colorado prison will have a computer tablet by the end of 2017. That's 18,000 tablets that inmates will be able to keep in their cell.... the tablets don't come with internet access, so no Netflix or Google.

But the tablets allow inmates to make phone calls, send emails, write grievances, communicate with jail staff, order hygiene products and view their prison bank accounts. Eventually, inmates will be able to download music and games.

Prisons also are being outfitted with monitors so inmates can have video visits with family members and friends....

Virginia-based vendor Global Tell Link is spending $800,000 to outfit Colorado prisons with video monitors and tablets. The company makes its money by charging inmates and their families for phone calls, emails, video chats, music and game downloads.

Phone calls are 12 cents per minute, emails are 25 cents each, 10-minute video calls are $4 and 25-minute video calls are $10.  All phone calls and emails are monitored by prison staff.

"Tablets coming for SD inmates"

They won’t have access to Facebook or Twitter, but every inmate in South Dakota’s prison system will soon have their own tablet computer. The touchscreen devices, connected to a closed network, will be offered for free to the Department of Corrections by telephone provider Global Tel Link.

The tablets mean longer phone calls with family and friends, and text messages – without photos or attachments – and will allow inmates to pay for access to games, music and e-books through monthly subscriptions. Phone calls and text messages will be charged per minute or per message....

South Dakota will join states like Colorado, Georgia and Indiana in its embrace of tablets for inmates, which are becoming more common through inmate telecom providers.

The Minnehaha County Jail recently added a limited number of tablets from CBM Managed Services of Sioux Falls, which inmates can check out at a $5 daily rate or borrow for 15 minutes every three hours. “This is the route a lot of these commissary vendors and video vendors are going,” said Minnehaha County Jail Warden Jeff Gromer....

The tablets offer distraction, communication and education for inmates, but they offer security benefits for staff, according to Warden Darin Young at the state penitentiary. Tablet phone calls and messages are recorded and stored for potential monitoring, and tablets can be shut off or confiscated for disciplinary reasons. Inmates who lose tablets would have to use public kiosks for calls.

The clear devices carry other security advantages, as well, Young said. Paper books can hide contraband passed from inmate to inmate, for example. "You can’t pass contraband through an e-book,” Young said.

May 10, 2017 at 07:05 PM | Permalink


Inmates in PA can also purchase a tablet computer from the prison commissary for about $150.


They are used for email and music, with songs costing $1.80 each from the block kiosk. While there are certainly benefits that arise from this, one might reasonably respond that a person who owes coats, fines,and restitution shouldn't be allowed to use available funds to buy luxury items while in prison.

Posted by: Sean | May 10, 2017 10:02:57 PM

Video addiction is a major factor in the drop of violent crime, of the rise of online crime. It consumes time. It increases obesity. It is addictive and may be used to control behavior. While it was dogma that addiction could only start after puberty, that is not true of video addiction. It goes down to age 2. The readers of this blog should understand that at a personal, emotional level. It is a complete waste of time, but no one can leave.

It is also true that 4 cigarettes a day are not harmful to health, but are totally addictive. Those should be traded for cooperation.

Porn should also be available, and masturbation encouraged in prison, to reduce physical aggression, again by consuming time, and by reducing testosterone levels.

Online education should also be available at subsidized rates, to promote rehabilitation, but only inside the prison. Rehab does not carry over to the outside, since crime is just too rewarding.

Online businesses should promote, sell, and ship products from prison industries.

Tracking programs should open all online activity to the prison supervision. Porn is OK, contacting underage victims, not OK. Socializing with normal women is to be encouraged. Having a normal girlfriend is the sole feature associated with a better outcome, in around 10% of inmates.

Posted by: David Behar | May 10, 2017 10:24:56 PM

Here is another advantage of tablets. Always on, even if off.

To this effect.


Posted by: David Behar | May 10, 2017 11:16:26 PM

Yes, and now Andy Richter is making angry anti-Trump comments on Twitter along with other 1990s t.v. favorites like at least two members of "Charmed."

There seems to be a convenient usage here, including as a means to keep the inmates informed of various rules and as noted less liable to be used for contraband. Probably will find a way though. As to luxury items, figure there is a means to add it to their bill. Plus, there are probably net uses making it worth the cost. Plus, probably can get it cheaper by buying cheap models and other means.

Posted by: Joe | May 10, 2017 11:54:31 PM

Nobody seems to notice that the headline says in the year 2000.....?

Posted by: restless94110 | May 13, 2017 4:55:06 AM

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