How Edtech Can Change an Inmate’s Life
Until recent years, prisoners were often released into modern society without much knowledge of the changes that occurred in their absence. We often take for granted just how much technology has advanced in recent years. Unfortunately, this lack of education and awareness leaves inmates at a major disadvantage upon their release. Many of them will lack the basic skills required to obtain even entry-level positions.
Along with these major changes to how society functions, edtech has also made huge strides toward improving the quality of academics. Inmates can see a tremendous benefit from using these new capabilities before returning to life on the outside. Take a look at a few of the key ways that inmates are experiencing education in a whole new way.
Edtech offers greater programs for inmates to participate in during the day.
If you watch any major television show, you tend to see the same scene repeatedly. Inmates congregate around the television in an attempt to preoccupy themselves for another long and meaningless day. Edtech can change the programs available to inmates in an affordable and highly effective way. This is a perfect alternative that gives inmates an opportunity to engage their minds in a meaningful manner that could give them access to greater success upon release.
Consider how quickly technology can advance during one ten-year term. A decade ago, emails were just beginning to be used as a primary means of communication. Now, emails, text messages, and social media platforms are the basis for many positions and relationships that are formed. This advance in technology could prove too much for some inmates upon their release unless they gain access to that technology during the day instead of mindless television programming.
Inmates can learn real skills for the future.
Whether through the use of tablets or computers, inmates can practice new skills without the one-on-one help from a trained professional or teacher. They become self-motivated to learn and they have a tangible certificate and record of their accomplishments. In turn, these records can be pulled to show future employers or the court system how much progress a particular inmate made over the past months or years. It could lead to more employment opportunities upon their release.
Education can reduce recidivism at an affordable rate.
Instead of simply keeping them preoccupied, correctional officers and staff can give inmates access to highly-controlled programs that grant the opportunity to learn technical skills and life skills that could reduce the rate of recidivism. Research shows that many inmates didn’t have access to educational resources prior to serving their time in prison. Edtech can help put an end to the cycle that keeps them locked behind bars by granting freedom through education.
According to some statistics, it’s easy to see just what imprisonment is costing taxpayers each year. Compared to public school education, imprisonment costs $20,000 more per individual. However, the rate at which these same prisoners will return to the justice system is far costlier than providing them with the basics of an education during their term. It’s time to start using edtech to make a much-needed change for these inmates who desire to build a brighter future.