Tablets let inmates go online at Polk County Jail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tablets let inmates go online at Polk County Jail

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Polk County Jail inmates are exploring the internet, watching movies and contacting loved ones through a pilot project that gives them access to tablet computers.

The Des Moines Register reports that Telmate, a Fruitland, Idaho-based company, is providing 97 tablets free to the jail. The company owns them and collects from three to five cents a minute directly from the inmates' jail commissary accounts.

The inmates have spent about 30,000 minutes a day since the tablets were distributed to jail cellblocks March 9.

The company says studies show the more inmates stay connected, the less likely they are to reoffend.

The assistant jail administrator, Cory Williams, says the inmates must follow jail rules if they want to maintain access to the tablets.

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