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Denver Sheriff's Department to provide personal tablets to all inmates in county's detention center and jail

Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 00:00:51-04

DENVER — The Denver County Sheriff's Department is providing personal tablets to all of their inmates in the county's detention center and jail, in an effort to reduce recidivism rates and provide additional resources to foster rehabilitation.

The department began handing them out on Thursday, joining the list of other counties that did the same in the years prior. In fact, in 2016, Colorado became the first state in the country to provide inmates tablets.

"Rehabilitation and reentry back to the community starts on Day 1 ... and so for us, this is going to help them by providing educational and rehabilitative resources while they're with us and hopefully help them as they go back into the community," Denver Sheriff Elias Diggins said.

The tablet, which can only be used between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., has several applications, including a free library with 200,000 books, access to movies, music, games, educational programs and more. It can also be used to send e-mails for 29 cents per message and make phone calls for 9 cents per minute. The tablets do not have a camera and are used with certain materials to prevent them from being misused or disassembled.

Aaron Davis, an inmate at the Downtown Detention Center received his tablet Thursday and told Denver7 he's been looking forward to receiving one for months.

"It could be a game changer," Davis said. "They have a job search on there, you know, kind of get to look to see what jobs are available in the community, which is pretty cool."

The tablets are created by Securus Technologies, the detention center's phone service provider, which has provided tablets to nearly 600,000 incarcerated people around the country.

The company foots the bill for the tablets, according to their Vice President of Operations Greg Saxon, but makes money from fees associated with inmate phone calls and messages and any purchases they make on the tablet, like certain movies, games and music.

"We are a for-profit company. This is what we do for a living. So I think everybody can be sure that the work we do is it to benefit both of the communities that we serve, as well as to the people that are running them," Saxon said.

The company has provided tablets to other detention centers and jails in the state, including Clear Creek County, Jefferson County, Douglas County, and Fremont County.

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