ROCKFORD — For years, accepted affair items for a Winnebago Canton Bastille bedfellow accept been a jumpsuit, sandals, a anhydrate and a amalgamation of toiletries.
Soon, a book could be added to that list.
“It’s the future,” Bastille Superintendent Bob Redmond said. “It’s article we’ve got to attending at.” Redmond already is in blow with book vendors.
The beachcomber of the approaching is actuality ushered in by the capricious account of the present.
Winnebago Canton Accessible Safety Committee associates unanimously agreed beforehand this anniversary to aish the county’s arrangement with Legacy Bedfellow Communications, the county’s provider of bedfellow blast services. A vote by the abounding Canton Board could appear aing week. Legacy is amenable for advancement the telephones in anniversary of the jail’s pods as able-bodied as in the booking area. The aggregation accuse inmates 55 cents a minute for bounded calls and 21 cents a minute for artery calls.
A allocation of the money calm is aggregate with the canton anniversary month, but Redmond said the aggregation is two months behind in payments accretion added than $100,000.
Redmond said the California-based aggregation additionally has had agitation befitting the added than 100 phones throughout the jail operating. Anniversary pod can authority 64 inmates, and there are six phones per pod.
“We’ve had abundant account issues back we had the (nearly two-year) contract,” he said. “We feel it is best to terminate now with a 90-day notice.”
As afresh as aftermost week, from Thursday to Monday, all phones in one pod failed, corrections Lt. Dave Huff said. Because inmates are advantaged to buzz privileges, added corrections admiral were bare to escort inmates to a altered pod area they could make phone calls.
“It was crazy,” Huff said.
Problems appear alike back all six phones in a pod are working.
“We’ve had abundant fights over the phone,” Redmond said. “It’s ‘A guy has been on the buzz too long,’ or ‘I told addition I was activity to alarm at a assertive time of the day. Now I can’t.’ Then the fights start.”
Jail admiral said the wireless tablets, which accept buzz capabilities, will help eliminate jailhouse scuffles and injuries to corrections officers. Redmond said he has already been in acquaintance with two vendors, GTL and Securus Technologies.
Although the tablets may alter in style by vendor, Redmond said, “They are not off-the-shelf Kindle readers or iPads. We’re looking at article that is congenital accurately for the corrections industry. These are asperous defended tablets.”
GTL backer Vinnie Mascarenhas said her company’s book “only allows the agreeable that the (jail) ability allows on it.”
The tablets cannot access the internet and do not accept amusing media capabilities. Instead, the tablets are intranet-based, acceptation agreeable accessible on the book — such as GED coursework, adoration classes, the law library, and music — is controlled and monitored in the jail. Inmates who accept money on their commissary account can accomplish buzz calls and purchase accustomed books and games from the vendor. A allocation of the money calm from the buzz calls and purchases fabricated by the inmates will be accustomed to Winnebago County.
The Pima Canton Jail in Tucson, Arizona, contracted with GTL and made the tablets accessible to inmates about a year ago.
“It’s a humongous administration tool,” said Capt. Sean Stewart, who declared the tablets as the inmates’ buoy to accustomed ancestors and friends. “If the bedfellow knows he can lose it, you are activity to accumulate absolute behavior.
“You accept to accomplish sure, though, that you put something on it (free books, amateur and music) that alike an busted can access. Otherwise, it’s just a paperweight.”
Stewart said agreeable provided in the Pima Canton Bastille includes chargeless books from the Gutenberg Project, a all-inclusive accumulating of digitized books.
“We additionally accept (LexisNexis) so that every bedfellow has admission to a law library,” Stewart said. “Now I don’t accept to agents the law library.”
Over the aing six months, he expects to be able to accommodate inmates with abstract from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and advice on resume writing.
Stewart said the tablets had bargain by 40 percent the cardinal of fights amid inmates and amid inmates and corrections officers.
“We additionally bargain our suicide anticipation by over 60 percent,” he said. “They are not sitting there staring at a bank all day and abode on how they broke their lives or impacted their family.”
Stewart said the inmates for the best allotment bouncer the tablets with care. “I don’t affliction how abounding fights you accept in a jail. Two things inmates never bones is the TV and the phones.”
For skeptics who catechism whether such a advantage should be accustomed to bodies in jail, Stewart said he reminds them of two things: “The tablets are provided at no amount to the public, and these are not bedevilled individuals. These are your neighbors. Here in Pima County, the boilerplate breadth of break in bastille is 12 days.”
Chris Green: 815-987-1241; [email protected]; @chrisfgreen
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