Officials announced in a press release that their latest partnership with Combined Public Communications relates to a tablet computer program for prisoners. This program is intended to provide guests with tablets or iPads at no cost to the taxpayer or the sheriff’s office. Instead, the company that provides the electronic devices gets their money back by having inmates purchase limited entertainment options through the device.
iPads for Tennessee guests
Although CPC gets the majority of the profits, 35% of what inmates spend on entertainment will go to the Sheriff’s Department general fund. The money is such a relief to the administration that the sheriff’s office recently made an announcement in March that the detention center had debts of more than $2 million. This debt was incurred largely due to the unpaid medical bills of the inmates.
In addition, the prison also has a program that allows “Chirpers”. A cell phone-like device that allows guests to send and receive text messages. The devices are unable to take pictures, videos, or phone calls.
Texting through these devices costs ten cents a piece. Inmates are charged through their commissioner. In return, imprisonment receives 2 cents. Sheriff stated from prison that they raised over $130,000 thanks to Chirpers.
It’s a similar story to the Tablet Partnership. The 35% taken from prisoners who purchase recreational options helps the prison offset the cost of housing prisoners. In addition, it should be noted that only guests are allowed to watch PG movies, music and radio. All tablet interactions are monitored, and different forms of entertainment can cost a variety of different costs.
Eclectic entertainment in prison
While iPads allow access to select entertainment, core resources focus on educational, legal, and religious materials. The prison must provide these materials to inmates by law. The warden argued that this also helps keep the paper out of the prison. Paper can be a health issue, and the sheriff recently experienced a swing of papers containing drugs.
Prison managers told reporters to News Channel 11 They hope that this program will provide inmates with better opportunities to continue their education while also placing greater emphasis on their health and wellness.
It is estimated that 400 devices could bring an additional $7,000 – $8,000 to prison.
Tennessee officials hope to have iPads and tablets available for jail within a month. It is necessary to take measures to secure the devices, as well as to ensure that it is a good investment for the detention center.
For those curious, there’s no word on whether the iPads are new or refurbished.