“Free computers for inmates? It’s latest deal at Sacramento County jail” is the headline of a recent Sacramento Bee article regarding the fact that 40 of the tablets have been in use at the Main Jail downtown for two months, and officials say they have had virtually no problems.
Inmates have used them to take classes toward high school diplomas, for parenting and domestic violence courses and, once they have earned enough points from studying, to watch preapproved movies or listen to music.
The project, which officials hope soon will offer 500 tablets to inmates, is similar to others that have been launched in jails nationwide and is not costing taxpayers a dime, sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Amos said.
Instead, the tablets, which cost about $200 each, are paid for through an inmate fund that collects revenues from commissary and other purchases. The computers cannot be used for email or be hooked up to wireless Internet, Amos said.
Instead, they can only connect with a secure network operated by a Chicago-based company called Edovo that offers the service.