A small group of inmates at the Draper prison have begun testing a tech-assisted Focused Reentry Program aimed at helping them successfully return to the community.
This week the Utah Department of Corrections provided tablets to 22 inmates in a pilot program at Utah State Prison. The goal is to give people a head start on their release and reentry by providing targeted educational, rehabilitation and reentry plans. The tablets are pre-loaded with individualized educational materials, treatment plans, housing information employment options and educational libraries.
Numerous studies have shown that providing education and treatment to incarcerated individuals is more cost-effective in the long run and reduces the risk that a person will commit new crimes after release. Utah’s tablet pilot will equip the inmates with personalized plans to prepare them for reintegration. This pilot program is the first in the nation that will allow the individual to keep the tablet after release in effort to maintain a smoother reentry.
“Inmates will have access to resources that greatly improve their chances for success after release,” said Adult Probation and Parole Director Jim Hudspeth. “Technology-based education and rehabilitation programs are proven to make facilities safer and increase the safety of the community by giving an inmate every opportunity to become a productive and crime-free citizen.”
Each person’s case manager will have access to their reentry and treatment plans to upload approved content and resources. It also enables them to check in with the offender and track progress. Case managers can provide action steps, appointment times and rehabilitation resources to the offender to support their success on parole.
The tablets operate on a secure, private, wireless network, which is engineered by network developers used by Homeland Security. Data is maintained and stored in a high-security data center. Inmates will have tightly controlled access to electronic communication and will not be able to reach any person or site that has not been pre-approved.
The initial group of inmates piloting the tablets will be released in about 90 days and will merge from use inside the prison to use in the community under parole supervision. An app called “Pokket” allows AP&P agents to lay out action items, such as reporting dates and treatment appointments, in their supervision plan which will play an intricate part of the offenders community supervision.
The costs for the pilot include the tablets, establishing a secure network, and maintenance. The tablets are about $500 each, which includes all content, network security, and military-grade casing to prevent tampering and ensure security.
UDC is contracting with American Prison Data Systems, which works in more than 40 correctional facilities across the United States.
To see the tablets in operation and to learn more about focused reentry program, watch this video on YouTube
- Public Information Office, November 17, 2017