New York Incarcerated Individuals Lose Electronic Tablet Access
According to a report by Matt Katz of Gothamist, Incarcerated Individuals in the New York have lost another connection to the outside world, this time in the form of free electronic tablets.
According to the report, the contract between the Department of Corrections and the provider of the tablet, APDS, quietly ended over the summer and was not renewed for undisclosed reasons.
The tablets provided incarcerated individuals with a much needed connection to the outside world, offering access to educational opportunities, job training, and other rehabilitative programs as well as more common things like ways to communicate with friends and family, movies or music.
The tablets had been available to incarcerated individuals since 2015, and are now yet another thing that has been taken away over recent months. Over the summer, it was announced that incarcerated individuals would no longer be allowed to receive care packages directly from friends and family. Instead, those sending the care packages would have to order them from a third party, taking homecooked meals away. And letters sent to incarcerated individuals would no longer be delivered, but scanned by the prison.
According to the report, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said a new tablet provider was on the way, but offered no further details and the announcement has yet to be made. Harris Ferrell, CEO of APDS, told Katz "We were never invited to present to the DOC, no explanation was given to us as to why they were ending it."
Some are concerned that the new tablet provider will take advantage of incarcerated individuals and charge for things that used to be free, like sending an email. Incarcerated individuals also expressed concern that without these resources, there could be an increase in tensions and violence.