The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has introduced inmate communication devices, such as smart tablets, in an effort of providing services to those incarcerated at no additional cost to the facility.
On these smart tablets is a messaging app so inmates can have the ability to speak with friends and family outside of the county jail’s normal visitation procedures.
The messaging app is popular with the inmates because the communication between them and their loved ones is quicker than regular mail, CCSO said on their website.
CCSO’s website stated other agencies that use similar devices report decreased stress levels in inmates since they can stay in contact with their family. It also states that decreased levels of stress often increases positive interactions between the inmates and staff.
The messaging app will charge inmates credit for use. The inmates will have two free credits a week, and additional credits would cost 50 cents each. Sending a message costs one credit, photos costs two credits.
The tablets will soon feature an online law research program so inmates can educate themselves on laws pertaining to their case.
Self-help programs will also be provided on the tablets. Programs such as anger management, domestic violence prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, and parenting and family stabilization will be available.
The tablets are also changing the way inmates will receive their mail. Starting Jan. 1, 2018, all non-privileged inmate postal mail must be sent to the following address so it can be scanned and viewed on the tablets:
INMATE NAME-ID NUMBER
PO Box 2027
Pinellas Park, Florida 3378