Napa County, Calif., Jail Provides Inmate Learning Tablets

The tablets provide cognitive behavioral training, basic education curriculum, vocational training, GED lessons and a substantial library of resources that promote positive decision-making skills, officials said.

by Times-Herald / February 20, 2015

(Tribune News Service) --  By next month, inmates in the Napa County Jail will have a new way to improve themselves, thanks to a pilot program involving the use of modern technology, county officials announced.

Offered by the Napa County Department of Corrections in partnership with Jail Education Solutions, inmates will be able access a wide range of customized materials suitable for a correctional environment through the use of portable, electronic tablets, county officials said. The county will pay $2 per tablet per day for 75 tablets, they said.

“We must innovate and be leaders in how we deliver programs and services to inmates,” Corrections Director Lenard Vare said in the announcement. “We believe the tablet program will offer an incentive for positive behavior and change.”

The tablets provide cognitive behavioral training, basic education curriculum, vocational training, GED lessons and a substantial library of books, films, motivational videos, religious materials and games that promote positive decision-making skills, officials said. The tablets function in a “sandbox” environment, meaning they only work on a dedicated, secure network in which program administrators select all content, they said. Once the tablets leave the facility, they stop working and are designed not to be able to access the Internet, they said.

Inmates also appear optimistic about the tablets’ benefits, according to the announcement.

©2015 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC