The Pinal County (AZ) Sheriff's Office has a new partnership with Securus Technologies to bring technology to the inmates at the Adult Detention Center. The launch of this technology is aimed at preparing the incarcerated with 21st century skills to help them have a successful future. Inmates are now able to use tablets to help advance their education and gain new skills while they are incarcerated.
The sheriff's office is now equipped with a digital toolkit made up of the SecureView Tablet as well as Digital Mail Center, and in August it will be adding eMessaging. All are from Securus Technologies.
"With tablets, inmates can stay in touch with family and keep their minds pre-occupied with educational and religious programming. We expect that it will help with behavior," said Sheriff Mark Lamb of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
Securus offers the community tablets for free, and Sheriff Lamb says they occupy the time of the incarcerated in productive ways and allow inmates to have access to better opportunities. One example is the job search application, which is powered by Securus' Jobview application.
"For those who want to improve themselves, it opens up that door," Lamb said. "Jobview gives offenders opportunities, so if they're getting out of jail, they know how to prepare for a job as well as know who's hiring."
This tool is designed to be intuitive and require no staff intervention. In addition to job search, it also has applications that give users access to the phone, education, mental health information, and the law library.
"We hope this will help inmates better their lives while they are in our custody," said Sheriff Lamb. "Our population is working with educators in our jail. They now have the opportunity to get a GED. We hope it will help with recidivism and makes them more employable. If you have a job, and you're good at it, then you don't have a reason to commit a crime and come back into my facility."
SecureView Tablet also offers the Make Mine program which brings premium content through applications such as eBooks, podcasts, music, and games to the jail population.
"We are introducing games so that they will not be disruptive and not politicking in the pod about race or gangs. So, this is another option to improve the safety of those incarcerated and of the staff," Sheriff Lamb added.
The SecureView Tablet Make Mine program helps improve facility efficiencies by providing personal access to make phone calls and search for jobs as well as giving greater access to books, educational materials and other content. The educational offerings are the top interest of facility leadership.
Communication with the outside world better prepares inmates for re-entry, and that is a top priority for Sheriff Lamb, who feels tablets give the incarcerated opportunities to build a better future. "We want to be the top jail in the state or even the western region. The community needs to see what we are providing for our inmates to help them get back on their feet to be the best citizens they can be," Sheriff Lamb concludes.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office's Adult Detention center houses an average of 500 inmates a day. The tablets are monitored and the inmates are aware that their activities and all forms of conversations are monitored, which is standard practice at all detention facilities.