Inmates at the Winnebago County jail in Rockford, Illinois now have access to tablets that can be used as phones and for approved classes. The inmates can use the tablets between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Inmate Tablets for Winnebago County Jail Detainees
The tablets cannot be used to browse the Internet and they don’t have social media, video or camera capabilities. They only allow content the sheriff approves, such as anger management and parenting classes.
Inmates with money in their commissary accounts can use the tablets to make calls to their loved ones, friends, and familiies.
Winnebago county jail inmates will receive a perk no other jail in the state offers.
County leaders voted almost unanimously back in August to provide inmates with tablets that will provide more than just entertainment.
Superintendent Believes the Inmates Tablets Are a Winning Decision
Bob Redmond, the Winnebago County Jail Superintendent said:
“It’s going to be a win-win for everybody.”
He’s happy the county board voted in favor to give jail inmates tablets. The jail currently has more than 800 inmates. Redmond says it’ll make the jail safer for inmates and workers. Redmond said:
“It’s been proven that this reduces assaults to the officers by inmates by about 40%, and inmate on inmate assaults.”
The tablets will come equipped with several features, including phone capabilities and pre-loaded GED programming. He also noted:
“It’s all learning that they’ll be able to do.
That hopefully they can continue once their out of here and be beneficial once they’re back out on the street.”
Winnebago County Jail Makes Deal with Global Tel Link
The Winnebago County jail is the first in Illinois to provide inmates tablets. It’s a one year deal with Global Tel Link, but it can be renewed for each of the next four years.
Global Tel Link says they’ve had a lot of success with other jails across the country. Michael Cisar, an account executive for Global Tel Link was quoted as saying:
He also says they’ll be very secure. Cisar notes:
“The tablets do not hit any outside internet network whatsoever. It’s intranet, contained within the jail. So the inmates will only be able to access sites approved by jail staff.”
Board member Eli Nicolosi says the best part of this deal is that the inmate tablets are not only free, but it’ll also generate nearly $1 million dollars a year for Winnebago County. Nicolosi said:
“So that’s going to be a huge boon for the county.
And hopefully it goes back to public safety where we can help put that more into the sheriff’s department and really help the crime crisis here in Winnebago County.”