[Press Release From Sheriff Mims’ Office]
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has deployed 250 Edovo educational tablets for inmates of the Fresno County Jail to use. These tablets, made by Samsung, include several layers of security. Edovo houses them in tamper resistant cases.
Inmates do not have access to the device’s camera and cannot access the public internet. Inmates are unable to message each other and can only use tablets to work on programs offered through Edovo’s network.
The Edovo platform offers an educational suite. This includes more than 10,000 hours of academic, vocational and cognitive behavioral therapy coursework. Inmates can work to improve literacy, prepare to earn a General Education Diploma (GED), research careers, take courses focusing on mental health wellness, parenting, religion, etc.
Edovo also builds in learning incentives. Once a user completes a task, they earn points. These points can be redeemed for entertainment options such as movies, music and games. Additionally, inmates can use tablets to make electronic purchases of commissary (personal items such as food and supplies), fill out request forms and access information such as the inmate handbook.
Built into each tablet is a tool called Periscope. This data collection software provides a snapshot of reports, including: Total hours logged, most popular courses and total courses completed. The information helps staff understand how successfully the Edovo program is operating within the jail.
Tablets are currently only available to inmates housed in individual cells. They have access to them Monday – Friday, for two to four hours each day. Those in general population or dormitory styling housing have kiosks available to them, which allow inmates to access the aforementioned commissary orders, forms and resource materials.
Several other agencies across the United States have implemented Edovo’s platform in to its jails and prisons. The Fresno County Sheriff’s program is funded 100% from the Inmate Welfare Fund, which is funded by things such as commissary sales. The estimated cost for the 5 year term of the tablet program is $500,000. The program went into effect during the summer of 2019.