Global Tel*Link (GTL) developed and successfully deployed its groundbreaking Inspire inmate tablet technology. These successful deployments culminate three years of research and development of corrections-grade tablet technology and secure wireless calling. The Inspire tablets have telephone, educational materials, and streaming music capabilities, and other features for inmate use, all while maintaining the security necessary for a correctional environment. Inspire tablets, currently implemented in multiple locations with a planned rollout to its customers in progress, were custom-designed by GTL. This ensures that both hardware and software meet strict correctional security needs while expanding communication choices and capabilities to help facilities reduce recidivism.
The Inspire tablets benefit both inmates and correctional facilities. For example, in addition to paper-saving features, such as commissary ordering and grievance and administrative request processing, facilities will also have the option of loading the devices with educational content. This content varies by facility and can include facility rules and guidelines, training manuals for jobs in various trades, social-emotional learning tools for skills like maintaining healthy relationships and anger management, and more. In addition to personal enrichment content, entertainment options such as streaming music have the potential to help inmates to better cope with their circumstances and promote positive mood. The combinations of these apps can better prepare inmates for life upon release, with the intent to reduce recidivism.
The Inspire tablets allow for complete over-the-air (OTA) control of the proprietary operating system, including remote management of all system settings, applications, and firmware. All operating system settings can be remotely managed OTA, allowing GTL to remove the user-interactive settings application of the operating system. This prevents inmates from using the settings function for making changes to the settings of the Inspire product, further enhancing its already very robust security features. Additionally, similar to how many well-known consumer product lines can push new firmware versions onto devices remotely, GTL will be able to push the installation of operating system enhancements throughout the life of the Inspire product.
The current product implementations demonstrate several different capabilities of GTL’s wireless tablet technology system. For example, one implementation was launched in Alameda County, California. It is one of the largest deployments of correctional wireless tablet technology in the country and features inmates placing calls of up to four hours long in the privacy and comfort of their own cell. This provides inmates with an opportunity for increased communication with friends and family, which many have suggested is linked to reduced recidivism. In addition, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Detention and Corrections Unit has provided educational content on all of the tablets.