Why would a company give free tablets to prisons for inmate use?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/29/captive-audience-2.html


Oh, those kind of tablets. I was thinking pills, and to use prisoners as human guinea pigs, of course.


There is a standard path that abusive technology takes through our society: first it is applied to prisoners and/or asylum seekers; then to people in mental institutions, then to people on benefits, then to students, then to blue-collar workers, then to white collar workers.

That path can be also be extended to exploitative business practises and authoritarianism. What conservatives are seemingly incapable of realising (until it’s too late) is that, however “deserving” they think they are in this “just world”, these abuses will eventually come for them unless they’re in the top economic 10%. A large sector of the American B2C sector is predicated on squeezing or cheating nickels and dimes from those who can least afford it and those businesses are always looking to expand their markets.

That was my first though reading the headline, too.


Remember, if dishwashers were Iphones, you’d have to buy your dishes from the manufacturer’s “approved partners,” and anyone who modified their dishwashers to wash unauthorized dishes would be accused of tempting food-borne illnesses and a lack of respect for the “thoughtful design and engineering” that allowed a giant multinational to “revolutionize kitchen sanitation.”

If dishwashers were phones, they’d be people actively trying to create maldishes trying to make people sick, though. Sometimes they would still manage to get them in the official dish store, but mostly not.


To make profit from the misery of people already oppressed by the prison industry is obscene but quite republican. Without doubt there are some in prison who should be there and some who should never be released back into society. Regardless of the situation that finds someone in prison their families should not be punished by outrageous price gouging for basic human rights. Those who profit without helping improve the lot of these folks are simply vultures.


Now I’m wondering what kind of contracts school districts get when they make a deal with the Devil Apple so all the students have iPads.


New York Department of Corrections.

The abuse and exploitation of enslaved prisoners is a thoroughly bipartisan endeavour.


My husband is in state prison but not in the state that this happened in. WE don’t get “free” tablets for our loved ones… They are purchased at $125.00 per inmate. Plus what did you expect? There are people in the free world that steal cable daily and i pay the price (higher bills) for that. It’s sad it happened but come on. They are criminals right?? I’ll wait…


Probably so but I just really hate republicans so I lay all the shit I can on them…and they are not as friendly to the downtrodden as Progressives. Being entirely rational all the time gets boring.


I agree whole heartledy!!

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Threre’s An app for that.


Prisoners who are cut off from their families have a harder time reintegrating on release and are more likely to end up back behind bars.

Working as intended. Private prisons are on the record admitting they lobby gov for stricter anti-drug laws because they need bodies in their prisons to turn a profit. Where is the resistance to any of this bullshit? At what point, taking into account all of the exploitative behaviour of government, corporations, and war profiteers, do people take to the streets and say ‘nope’?


I thought the same, and couldn’t figure out how pills were being tied to a stamp.


@Nicole-72, not all people in prison are criminals. Many folks are unjustly imprisoned because they could not afford good lawyers, or because their skin was the “wrong” color, or because they stood up against stupid unfair laws. But even convicted criminals are human beings with human rights. You & your husband deserve to communicate with each other, without being gouged by companies trying to make a profit from your misfortune. I wish you the best.


They’re in the Ohio prisons, now, too. Since the state outsourced the prisons, they have “new technology” available now! It costs 50 cents to buy a “stamp” to email a prisoner, discounts if you buy multiples.


It’s all about the money; even more so now that so many states have outsourced their prisons to for-profit corporations.


@abutilon I’m well aware of that. I see it first hand every day. It’s unfortunate that the only way to have a fighting chance is to have an attorney. Thanks for the good luck. We definitely need it. I guess I’m always on the defense because of my own personal situation. Until someone you love is put away it’s difficult to understand. :grin:


For profit prisons are an obscenity beyond belief for me. Even worse than using them for the legal system is the butchering of families fleeing from violence only to find a different kind of hell. History will judge us very harshly and rightly so.


This was tried in higher education with mixed results.


@Nicole-72 Yes, it’s a terribly difficult situation, sorry to sound like I was preaching. Also, you or your husband can request free books & a resource list for him from the Prisoners Literature Project:


Requests have to come by snailmail to the sponsoring bookstore; info is on the website. Please include a list of 5-10 topics, & any regulations about getting books by mail, so volunteers can choose appropriate books & package them correctly. As you probably know, the feds are making a strong effort to limit the vendors that are allowed to mail books to inmates, so there’s no guarantee, but we can try!