Ordering a coffee, video calling with grandma, working on presentations, or drowning in homework assignments – all are typical tablet uses that many of us have integrated into our daily routine. However, in facilities across our country, tablet technology is a scarcely tapped resource that’s on the rise.

Facilities that integrate tablet technology see a steadily transforming landscape of inmate education and opportunity. Tablets offer some freedom to those incarcerated; a mobile window to the outside world, unhinged from the static kiosks mounted to the cement walls. To the administrators, the tablets offer the inmates a sense of normalcy and access to educational and restricted social content while remaining supervised and secure. Facility administrators can monitor and flag content that is against security standards.

Recent studies have shown that tablet use for inmates reduces violence and increases reintegration success. Greater access to educational content increases an inmate’s chance of successful re-entry into society and helps to reduce recidivism rates. Inmates that are more familiar with tablet technology increase their re-entry success by making them more confident and prepared to use modern tools in a workplace environment.

VendEngine, Inc., a cloud-based tech company, has implemented tablet technology in facilities across the United States for several years and has seen success. One program, Shaping Success for Women, a Florida-based correctional facility, experienced a significant improvement in morale and program participation while using VendEngine’s tablet technology.

“The facility was facing lockdowns due to Covid-19 restrictions and these lockdowns were keeping women from being able to participate in normal programming. Shaping Success for Women offers a ton of quality programming to help residents prepare for re-entry. VendEngine tablets allowed them to access their case management and stay connected and up to date with the programming they depend on. The women in our program felt grateful for the choices they had to prepare for re-entry. Several of the vital programs these women depend on to equip for re-entry success heavily relies on tablet use,” said Cathryn Lokey, Spokesperson for Shaping Success for Women program.

“Being able to access that program on their tablets calmed the anxieties of the women. Re-entry is a frightening process for them, and they’ve worked so hard to walk through the steps and programs. Tablets allowed them to have greater access to education and set them up for success.” said Lokey.

Tablets are becoming more relevant in the corrections industry and decision-makers are growing more open to tablets in facilities. Countless success stories like Cathryn Lokey’s are proving the value of tablet technology. The tablet success is steadily pushing facilities toward further integration and technology that better serves inmates and facilities. This wave of technology integration could thrust the correctional industry forward in one giant leap, setting inmates up for success and reducing national recidivism rates.

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