Access to digital technology is the first objective the incarcerated community can work toward.
FREMONT, CA: Increasing access to computers and the internet has allowed prisoners in many countries to access a much extensive range of services than that can be provided within prison walls. Government agencies encourage the use of technology to assist with the management in custody and the community of offenders and help their education and skill development. The use of technology can improve the quality of life for staff and offenders, better safety and security in prisons, and contribute to better public safety. Effective use of technology can further enhance collaboration and coordination within the criminal justice system. Here is how technology is assisting the incarcerated community during a global pandemic.
Today, corrections agencies are making it a priority to offer resources, so incarcerated individuals can work on personal development, enroll in education, study a trade, and use other programs and resources to better prepare themselves for successful reentry. Through partnerships with like-minded organizations, incarcerated individuals have access to more technologies and self-help tools than ever before.
Technology plays a large role in enhancing the lives of incarcerated people, and nothing replaces the human connection. Preceding the virus, incarcerated communities relied heavily on family and friends' visits as they worked toward developing a better future. With in-person visits suspended to help reduce disease spreading within facilities, the window of opportunity for connection can be closed for an entire day. If a facility has not embraced technology, there is very limited information available to incarcerated individuals. Without a solid connection to the outside world, a newly released individual may not be aware of the severity of requirements and present economic climate, putting them at a disadvantage.
Correction agencies could be so much more to adopt technology now, learn from the pandemic, lower recidivism, and open avenues for economic contribution, especially as they navigate recessionary markets. This community is worthy of time, investment, innovation, and attention to a country's success. Now is the time to strategize for the future and learn from the experience.