So I had to immediately hop on the site because I wanted to get as many opinions as possible on the subject I just came across. A Nashville entrepreneur by the name of Turner Nashe Jr. has been partnering with corrections facilities and collaborating with college professors to develop CorrectionsEd, a learning system for prisoners that includes providing them with tablets as a tool for learning. I’m going to share everything with you all that I found during my research, as well as my thoughts & then you can make an informed opinion and let me know.
The key purpose from what I’ve gathered is to both reduce recidivism, or the repetition of criminal behavior, and give prisoners an opportunity to get an education and be better prepared to join the work force upon release. Here is a quote from Nashe in an interview with The Tennessean.
“My goal is to increase engagement, reduce the length of time it takes for an inmate to gain or finish a degree and to improve time on task and learning scores,” said Nashe, whose company is called Innertainment Delivery Systems. Ideally, “when these guys get out, they can go straight to work rather than playing catch-up.”
According to the National Institute of Justice, 67.8% of offenders are back in prison within 3 years, the number rises to 76.6 after 5 years. Nashe believes that the current system of prison education consists of antiquated computer labs and outdated books, which are not suitable for learning even for prisoners. When asked about what factors contribute to prisoners not completing degrees, this was the response.
In 2009 10 percent of eligible inmates in Tennessee participated in the GED program, according to a Tennessee Department of Corrections report. As part of Nashe’s research, he polled Davidson County inmates and staff on why inmates were not completing degrees. The main reasons that surfaced were that inmates had previous poor school experiences, they lacked family support, they did not believe degrees would lead to employment or they could not find consistent access to a learning environment.
The main issue I have is the same issue I have partly with the online education system, which is that the tools are being provided, but does not solve the utilization of those tools. Wanting to learn has to come from within, it is not something that everyone is going to pick up simply because the opportunity is in front of them. Free people do not always take the opportunities in front of them, prisoners are no different. And I seriously hope that there is nothing “Mandatory” on the part of the prisons, because I highly doubt that prisoners can be forced to pick up a tablet and gain information. What happens if they choose not to learn? Are you going to punish them? Everyone that qualifies for a tablet is not going to use them the way it is intended. That will only happen with a smaller percentage of people.
The tablet itself is a product of IDS (Innertainment Delivery Systems) and has extensive security measures so administrators are able to control the content that is being downloaded or explored on the device. It’s nothing glamorous like an iPad or Galaxy, it looks pretty simple and possibly durable, meant only to perform basic functions. If you take a closer look at the picture on your left, you will see a tab for music, e-mail, and photos. Yeahhhh………………
Everyone, please tell me what you think in the comments below, I REALLY want to know how everyone feels on the subject. Also I’m having a Movie Pack Giveaway so click the link for that and also subscribe to The Wingfield Blog!
Thank You for Listening,