Prison inmates in the state of New York will soon have items that many Americans cannot afford.
Every inmate in the prison receive a free tablet, which will give them access to educational content, eBooks and music, WPIX reported.
Sadly, this is not a joke.
The inmates will also have email through a secure system, but will not have general access to the internet.
The tablets will also have apps that will help inmates file grievances — because what every criminal behind bars needs is something that makes it easier to file a grievance.
Inmates can also pay for eBooks, music or other entertainment through their prison account, officials said, New York Upstate reported.
The tablets come as part of a deal between New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and Florida-based JPay, a company that specializes in corrections-related services, a DOC spokesperson said, as reported by WPIX.
The tablets will be given to the more than 52,000 inmates at no cost to the state or to the inmates.
It is not clear when the inmates will receive the tablets.
On JPay’s website, the website offers two tablet models that have between 16 and 32 gigabytes of memory with screens of 4.3 inches and 7 inches.
WPIX reported that JPay would make money if an inmate purchased additional books or items with the tablet.
If you think this is ridiculous, you are not alone.
Head of the NYPD sergeants union Ed Mullins expressed concern about the deal.
“Little is done for the homeless, mentally ill, and hard-working people who can’t afford tablets in New York State,” Mullins said, according to the New York Post.
“With all the elected officials who keep getting arrested, one has to wonder if these perks may be self-motivated,” Mullins said.
But there is also the potential for inmates to hack tablets.
A source from the New York Police Department told the Post about a case last year where an inmate somehow got his hands on a tablet and broke into a female guard’s Facebook account. He was later caught masturbating to her photos.
“These guys are smart and they have nothing but time on their hands,” the source told the Post.
The amount of privileges convicted criminals have is infuriating. While prisoners should not be treated like caged animals, they should not be allowed to have, for free, tablets where they can become Angry Birds or Candy Crush experts.
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