Winnebago County Jail inmates thriving with tablet progam

Published: Nov. 14, 2018 at 6:24 PM CST
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When inmates were first given tablets, many people were concerned. There was uncertainty with what an inmate could potentially do from a tablet.

One year later, the program at Winnebago County Jail has improved the lives of several inmates.

Inmates are able to access music, movies, educational courses, GED prep as well as are able to message friends and family.

"You can send a two thousand character message for 24 cents and it delivers within hours instead of the old way, using letters and mail and stuff that takes days," says inmate Bradley Thomas Nelson.

This is all possible though a private network that is closely supervised. With around 700 tablets, Winnebago County Jail can supply almost every inmate with a tablet.

The tablets are used as a behavioral tool that has show a decrease in fights.

"Now as long as they're behaving they have the tablet, they're able to go to their cell even if they're on lockdown, they're able to make a call," says Superintendent Robert Redmond.

In the past Inmates had to share six phones, and two televisions among 64 people in their housing unit. The tablets have stopped fights that would sometimes occur due to the limited resources.

"They know they're in jail but if you take [the tablets] away for a little while, give them something to think about, it'll steer them in the right direction," says Lieutenant Justin Egler.