Indiana's Inmates Could Soon have Access to Tablets

by Julia Palazzo

(ABC 57) Indiana is looking to help offenders who are behind bars. Soon, each inmate in the Hoosier state could have their own tablet.

The Indiana Department of Correction says the tablet will help inmates stay connected with their families and improve their education. Offenders will be able to use the tablets to access any classwork, self-help materials or entertainment.

Officials expect to use entertainment, like music or movies, to reward good behavior.

The proposal was first filed in January.

A company that will provide the tablets hasn’t been chosen yet. The state is still negotiating and accepting bids from vendors.

Apple iPad’s or kindles won’t be used. Instead, a company that makes tablets specifically for prisons or jails will be hired.

One San Francisco based-company they may consider, Telmate, has a device that is used in more than 20 states, including some jails in Marshall County.

INDOC is hoping a vendor will front the costs of the entertainment apps so taxpayers won’t have to. INDOC also says it wants to avoid charging inmate fees because charging fees that they can’t afford would defeat the purpose of the system.

If the company selected pays, the vendor would be reimbursed and still earn a profit.

INDOC is accepting interest from vendors until April.

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