Allow federal inmates in the bureau of prisons access to tablets during Covid-19 pandemic!

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Federal inmates across the country have been on lockdown since March 2020, unable to have family visits or make phone calls due to covid restrictions in the facilities. By allowing inmates access to tablets they can stay in contact with loved ones during these extraordinary times. Many state facilities offer this option but the bureau of prisons has not made any alternative methods of contact for inmates and their family. Prison is not a luxury and should not be treated that way, but basic human rights should be respected and communication with family and loved ones is very important for rehabilitation.


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Federal inmates currently are on strict lockdown, showers twice a week and no access to phones or computers. They are not being fed hot meals daily and have limited commissary access. This has been going on since March 2020 and it’s time for the BOP to get with the current times and make changes in their institutions to allow inmates to maintain connections to their loved ones. The BOP increased the phone time limit from 300 to 500 per month due to the suspension of visitation however the inmates have no access to phones so most of those minutes are never used. Leaving inmates in a cell 24 hours a day is cruel.

These guys need all of the support they can get. They’re currently locked in their cells 24 hours a day and only come out for a 5 minute shower every 3 days. They have been eating a bagged lunch for months because there are not enough staff to prepare meals. They cannot use the phone because they do not have enough staff to sanitize the phone after each inmate uses it. Most of the federal facilities and inmates have had ZERO visits due to Covid restrictions. Isolation is inhumane. 

 

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Both JPay and GTL, the two largest telecommunication suppliers of the prison system have tablets available for inmates to purchase. These tablets have been completely secured with restricted access for inmates and are only useable on their secured network. They would eliminate a lot of the cross contamination within the facility as they offer:

e-books

email and phone 

video visitation 

commissary ordering 

Educational content

music and multimedia 

 

Tablets would eliminate inmate sharing of many communal resources in addition to allowing inmates to connect to their loved ones.