A brighter future awaits a group of aspiring students currently incarcerated at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC). Thanks to a partnership between the Reentry Campus Program (RCP) and Ameelio, a select group of individuals at the John J. Moran Medium Security Facility will now be able to access postsecondary education resources through safe and secure tablets allowing them to fast-track their degree attainment and minimize the cost associated with pursuing a 4-year degree—at no cost to them, their families, or Rhode Island taxpayers.
This tablet program will further bolster RIDOC’s existing educational programming, which is offered at every one of its adult facilities five days a week on a full-time, year-round basis, including instruction by highly qualified teachers. Through this partnership, RCP will provide up to 30 college credits, equivalent to a first year of school, free to enrolled students. For Ameelio, a technology nonprofit that has built and deployed communication and education software in six other states, this program marks the first official deployment of its education tablets.
“It was a privilege to see the care and excellence Reentry Campus Program’s educators dedicate to their students’ success every day. Integrating the tablets into the existing program provides access the students never had before, by offering all coursework in a single package. These tablets are more than just devices; they're tools for educators and students to build a better tomorrow. Education has the power to break the cycle of incarceration, and together with RCP and RIDOC, we're redefining rehabilitation for a fairer society."
- Anna McGreal, IT Manager, Ameelio
Program participants, along with RCP staff members, received hands-on training from Ameelio on how to use the tablets to access digital educational resources, which will include learning materials for various subjects, including business, humanities, math, science, and technology. These materials will help prepare students to take their DSST tests and eventually receive up to a year’s worth of college credits, which are transferable to 1,900 other colleges and universities nationwide.
"Jobs now require some knowledge of technology. Giving students access to tablets inside prison is important because it will teach them the technology they need to know when they go home. Partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and Ameelio is incredible because it shows a new era. We’re moving away from “tough on crime” policies and towards a rehabilitative model that gives people the support they need to successfully return home in the new economy."
- James Monteiro, Executive Director & Founder, RCP
Access to educational programming for incarcerated individuals plays a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of recidivism and fostering improved re-entry outcomes by equipping them with essential skills and opportunities for successful reintegration into society. This idea is supported by decades of research, with some studies finding that educational programming can reduce recidivism by as much as 30 percent.
“At RIDOC we recognize the value of education as relates to rehabilitation and the ability for those released back to the community to reintegrate successfully. The work of RCP, which includes the use of tablets to earn online college credits and later move on to in-person classes with one of our partner higher education institutions, is an invaluable path toward recidivism reduction, successful reentry into the workforce, and a meaningful, productive and fruitful future.”
- Barry Weiner, MS, LCSW, Assistant Director Rehabilitative Services, RIDOC
This program marks just the beginning of Ameelio’s partnership with RCP. With this launch, Rhode Island joins a growing movement of states working to improve access to vital educational resources for incarcerated people.