8,000 Colorado prison inmates to receive free computer tablets - WDRB 41 Louisville News

8,000 Colorado prison inmates to receive free computer tablets

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More than 8,000 inmates in Colorado prisons will have free computer tablets by the end of the year. 

KDVR in Denver reports that the pilot program is aimed at reducing tension and boredom while offering educational opportunities and contact with friends and family. 

The Inspire program through GTL Corporation will allow inmates access to music, books and video games for a fee. And with platforms paid for by outside family, the inmates will have restricted use of the tablets to make calls and write emails. The tablets do not have wireless internet. 

Phone calls are 12 cents per minute, emails are 25 cents each, 10-minute video calls are $4 and 25-minute video calls are $10. All phone calls and emails are monitored by prison staff.

Correctional officers and representatives of victims groups have expressed concerns that criminals will find a way to use the tablets to commit new crimes and contact gang members.  And they say inmates should not be rewarded with computer access. 

Colorado is the first state to roll out the Inspire program across all its prisons. Smaller programs were tested in county jails in Arizona and California.

The tablets are free to inmates, but if they break it, they are responsible for the $200 replacement cost.

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