Inmates Given a Chance Via Mobile Technology
In a country with the largest prison population in the world there are clearly a slew of issues with the entire prison system in the U.S. Chris Grewe, the CEO and founder of a company called American Prison Data Systems (APDS) is busy making strides to do something about this.
First a bit about Chris Grewe - who is an entrepreneur with a passionate belief in the power of education to change lives for the better. In founding APDS, he was motivated by the desire to address the lack of safe and effective means of providing educational content to incarcerated learners, which he believed was key to turning lives around and reducing rates of recidivism.
His aforementioned current project is all about providing prison inmates with feature-limited Galaxy Tab S2s and what he believes is a far better chance to become useful members of society again. The inmates typically have access to only educational and vocational apps, and they also currently use tablets to read ebooks, prepare for upcoming court cases, or communicate with family members.
The real goal Grewe is interested in is to move past all that and ultimately get these inmates to a much better place and standing in life.
“We provide technology solutions that provide better outcomes for the incarcerated. Prisons don’t need to be dangerous places. They can be constructive,” he explained.
Along with the rewards Grewe speaks about, clearly this project carried certain risks with it, all of which Grewe and his team were well aware of.
“While we wanted make sure that incarcerated people can have access to all the good things that the Internet and the digital world can provide, we had to be mindful of the things that people would be concerned about,” he said. “We don’t want an inmate to use a digital device to contact a former victim, to intimidate a witness, to engage in continual criminal activity, or to do anything that would allow them to impair the safety of the jail or prison.”
Grewe added that the company looked closely at mobile device management (MDM) issues and also developed a custom SDK that allows APDS to get even more deeply into the operating system so they can remotely control the devices. The partnerships APDS has formed through this project include AirWatch, Samsung, Vox Mobile and Stratix.
As for the next stage of the project, Grewe is looking to add daily Chromebook access for the inmates, perhaps setting up a room in prisons where there are a number Chromebooks that prisoners can sign out to use for things such as learning a foreign language among other things – again with the notion that they won’t be headed back behind bars due to skills learned while behind them.
Chris Grewe is one of the featured speakers at the Enterprise Mobility Exchange event schedule for Las Vegas, November 14-16, 2016 (http://lasvegas.enterprisemobilityexchange.com/) and he’ll be exploring further how the valuable work that corporate America has put in to secure BYOD practices has paved the way for the work that APDS has done, creating secure technology solutions for a previously unserved population – the prison population.