New technology provides evidence-based rehabilitation, supports successful reentry into society, and helps reduce recidivism upon release
MONTGOMERY, ALA. – The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) today announced the rollout of Personal Education Devices (PEDs) across the state’s correctional system. This initiative helps advance the Department’s mission to promote effective, evidence-based inmate rehabilitation, empowering successful re-entry into civilian society and reducing recidivism upon release.
The PED is a corrections-grade device that offers digital educational and rehabilitative resources that otherwise would not be available in a prison setting, and will help supplement in-person classes which have been limited due to COVID-19. All ADOC inmates will be provided free and direct access to PEDs from which they can utilize available programming resources customized to their unique needs such as K-12 programs, GED preparation content, post-secondary and college courses, vocational training programs, job search programs, personal finance programs, spiritual/religious resources, self-help and re-entry resources, eBooks, and more.
The ADOC expects to introduce PEDs at select ADOC facilities in early February 2021, and anticipates the program will be rolled out to all other ADOC facilities by the end of June 2021.
“Implementing PED technology across our system places rehabilitative, educational, and vocational programming directly into the hands of our inmate population in a manner which previously has been impossible in Alabama,” said ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “PEDs help create opportunities for personal growth during incarceration, and the availability of rehabilitative tools, such as PEDs, within a correctional environment has been shown to help reduce instances of violence during incarceration and recidivism upon release.”
The PEDs feature secure communication applications such as e-messaging and phone services, so inmates can send messages or place calls to their loved ones directly from the device. Inmates also will have the option to personalize a PED for their ongoing use in order to access additional types of paid content from an approved media library. It is important to note these devices are designed to be secure, do not provide access to the open internet or social media channels, and do not have photo/video capabilities.
“The implementation of PEDs furthers our progress against the Department’s multi-faceted strategy to transform Alabama’s correctional system and make the important shift from warehousing criminals to rehabilitating returning citizens by best preparing inmates to reenter society successfully,” added Commissioner Dunn. “I am both grateful to and proud of our staff who planned and prepared extensively to ensure the success of this vital initiative, which is being launched at a time defined by unprecedented operational challenges for the ADOC and correctional systems around the county.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department has been unable to conduct safe, in-person classes, or bring in outside programming resources in service of its mission to rehabilitate returning citizens. Once it is deemed safe to resume more standard facility operations, PEDs will continue to serve as supplements to in-person classroom instruction to allow for greater connectivity and resource availability.
The PED initiative does not require initial or ongoing financial investments from the ADOC. Our contracted communications provider, Securus Technologies, LLC, bears all financial and operational responsibility for providing the technologies, maintaining the secure network, ensuring an appropriate number of devices are available within our facilities, and replacing devices. Inmates actively participating in formal education and evidence-based programs will be assigned a PED.