Inmates Shouldn’t Have Better Toys Than The Rest Of Us

When did it become cool for prison inmates in New York state to have better access to things than people who haven’t broken the law?

We’ve heard for the past couple of years about free college educations for prison inmates. Now, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision wants to give tablets to the 51,000 inmates in the state corrections system.

The tablets would allegedly come at no cost to taxpayers and be preloaded with educational material. Inmates won’t be able to access the internet, but can use the tablets to purchase music, e-books and videos through an electronic account system being set up.

The tablets also can be used to send and receive emails to and from approved family members and friends.

We’re sure technology can help inmates who truly want to better their lives to do so. Tablets for inmates as a reward good behavior or who have proven that they want to better themselves is more palatable than tablets for all inmates.

There are plenty of people who haven’t committed crimes who can’t afford a tablet or high-speed internet services. If Miami, Florida-based JPay Inc. is just handing out tablets, we’re sure there are 51,000 people in New York state — including a good many in Chautauqua County — that would gladly take one. What makes those people any less deserving than prison inmates?