CCSO rolls out inmate tablets after COVID delay

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office rolled out tablets for all inmates in the Adult Detention Center this week.

Commissioners approved the contract with Securus Technologies, Inc. in 2019 for a term of Sept. 25, 2019 through Sept. 25, 2025 at no cost to the county.

The tablet rollout was planned for March 2020, but delayed due to COVID, Reeves said.

County considering multiple contracts for drug dog, response teams and jail communications

The tablets are loaded with communication, education, and employment resources “because our goal is to reduce recidivism and help people move forward with their lives once they leave our jail,” Undersheriff Cory Reeves said in an email.

The tablets will provide access to education and self-help opportunities, Reeves said.

“We believe education, vocational or otherwise, is key to reducing recidivism; therefore, a complete educational catalog is free to use on the tablets,” Reeves said.

The tablet content includes adult basic education, GED prep, college credit, vocational training, lift skills, job search and preparation, mental health, addiction recovery, religious resources, and parenting and family.

Sheriff Jesse Slaughter told County Commissioners during an October 2019 meeting that the tablets will also have programming such as anger management, to assist with any court mandated treatment.

The tablets also give inmates the option to pay to watch movies, listen to music, read ebooks, play games and access Newsstand. They can also use the tablets to call or message family and friends.

Detention officers have tablets that allow them to monitor the inmate tablets, approve emessages before they’re set and all phone calls are monitored, Reeves said.

The CCSO receives 10 percent of the content commission on the tablets and Reeves said they estimate that will be $12,345 annually.

Sheriff Jesse Slaughter told County Commissioners during an October 2019 meeting that the Securus contract also replaced the phone technology in the visitation area.

During that meeting, Slaughter said conversations with attorneys will still be protected. Attorneys will be able to enter their information and the system will not monitor the call, though it will still be logged.