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Arizona jail lets inmates use tablet devices in effort to reduce recidivism

(Pinal County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – Inmates at an Arizona detention facility are getting access to tablet computers as part of a new program designed to reduce repeat offenses.

The tablets will allow adults detained at the Pinal County Jail to work on their education and learn new skills, according to a press release.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is partnering on the initiative with Securus Technologies, which provided the devices at no charge.

“With tablets, inmates can stay in touch with family and keep their minds pre-occupied with educational and religious programming,” Sheriff Mark Lamb said in the release. “We expect that it will help with behavior.”

The devices give inmates access to job search tools, ebooks, podcasts and other limited content.

“We are introducing games so that they will not be disruptive and not politicking in the pod about race or gangs,” Lamb said.

“So, this is another option to improve the safety of those incarcerated and of the staff.”

Inmates can also use the tablets to communicate with family members, which helps reduce stress levels for the incarcerated population.

According to the press release, inmates who maintain relationships with loved ones are less likely to be arrested again after their release.

“We want to be the top jail in the state or even the western region,” Lamb said. “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.”

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