Prisoners in New York State will get free tablet computers. A private communications contractor will give 54,700 tablets to prisoners. The prisoners will get limited online access. They will plug their tablets into special kiosks. Prisoners will be allowed to email approved family and friends. They can also order approved music, books and videos, and write reports of abuse. All of these activities will be carefully checked by prison staff.
Prisoner support services welcomed the project. They said it was a "huge step forward". New York State officials said the tablets would help prisoners stay closer to their families and help smooth relations with guards. Police officers are asking why convicts are getting free tablets. They said it shows that crime pays. One officer said prisoners shouldn't get free tablets when little is done for homeless and mentally ill people who can't afford tablets.