By Christopher S. Bryson
As part of a collaborative venture between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Global Tel Link (GTL), inmates at the Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) received state-issued tablets last week.
Installation of GTL’s Flex Link Multi-service kiosks occurred over the past 6 weeks culminating with GTL technicians arriving on January 24th to begin distributing tablets into the hands of the eagerly awaiting incarcerated population.
The tablets provide inmates the unprecedented opportunity to connect to their family and friends. Its communication capabilities include phone calls, messaging (including sharing photos and videos), and video visits.
“My kids will be able to see me now,” said inmate Hollie Garrett. He continued “I won’t just be a voice on the phone in their lives. It’s amazing! Especially during Covid-19 with all of these lockdowns.”
GTL tablets also offer inmates customized content in the areas of self-improvement; job and life skills; and educational materials all at their fingertips. Higher education opportunities and consistent communication with the outside world has been shown to have positive effects in reducing rates of recidivism by helping inmates prepare for life after release from prison.
GTL Inmate Services also allows inmates to access an assortment of entertainment apps for streaming music, e-books, audiobooks, podcasts, games, and CDCR approved movies and shows. In addition, the tables will automate certain process within the prison by digitizing inmate request forms, law library resources, canteen orders, medical requests and grievance filings thereby eliminating the need for paper forms and reducing response time.
Eventually, state-wide implementation of the tablet program by CDCR and GTL will improve the department’s ability to achieve its mission of successfully rehabilitating incarcerated individuals.
Christopher Bryson is incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison