GTL's Education Solutions Can Break the Cycle of Recidivism

RESTON, Va., Aug. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. Over 7.6 million people in America are currently incarcerated, on probation, or out on parole. And while 650,000 inmates are released every year, a National Institute of Justice study found that:

    --  Within one year of release, more than half (56.7%) of released prisoners
        are rearrested.
    --  Within three years of release, two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners
        are rearrested.
    --  Within five years, more than three-quarters (76.6%) of released
        prisoners are rearrested.

Why are so many former inmates rearrested after release?

When inmates reenter society, they often don't possess the skills needed to gain employment. Often, contemporary technology appears foreign to them - they don't know how use a computer to search for a job, use a word processor to write their resume, or send an email from their phone. Without steady employment, desperate inmates will often return to criminal activity to make ends meet.

This is a system with people trapped in a cycle. We are recycling our inmate populations in and out of our jails, and American taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the costs. In 2012, taxpayers paid $39 billion to incarcerate inmates - quadruple what taxpayers paid two decades ago.

Thankfully, education is proven to reduce recidivism rates, and therefore, to alleviate taxpayer burden. By providing inmates opportunities to gain an education, and exposing them to technologies such as tablets, we can reduce the recidivism rate. One study found that:

    --  With vocational training, the recidivism rate drops to approximately
    --  With an Associate degree, recidivism drops to 13.7%.
    --  With a Bachelor's degree, recidivism drops to 5.6%.
    --  With a Master's degree, recidivism is so low that it's effectively 0%.

Earlier this year, GTL acquired Innertainment Delivery Systems (IDS), the leading provider of inmate education systems in the United States. The acquisition is GTL's most recent investment in tools that provide its customers with solutions for effective inmate rehabilitation and successful reentry.

"Our job is to implement as much educational programming as possible in order to reduce recidivism rates, because we know that education alone is the greatest determining factor in reducing that number," says Dr. Turner Nashe, Senior Vice President of Education Services at GTL. "We should be looking at making that initial investment in bettering the education and workforce development skills of every inmate."

To date, GTL has deployed over 20,000 tablets to correctional environments across the U.S., providing thousands of inmates with educational opportunities. In fact, GTL recently reached a new milestone, delivering over 100,000 eBooks to offenders over its digital platforms. Over the next three years, GTL expects to deliver over 20,000 eBooks per semester. GTL's tablets are secure and uniquely tailored to sustain the rigors of a corrections environment.

In the coming years, technology such as tablets and virtual reality will change the way inmates carry out their sentences and provide new opportunities for inmates to receive an education. GTL will continue to work closely with and provide our customers with cutting-edge technology and courseware that reduces recidivism rates and improves inmate outcomes.

Press Contact: Vinnie Mascarenhas

View original content with multimedia: