18,000 Colorado inmates are getting their own tablets. Free of charge.

The Colorado Department of Corrections has announced a new program for its inmates. Courtesy of a Virginia-based company, Global Tell Link, all of Colorado prisoners will have tablets and monitors by the end of 2017.

From a report on FOX31 Denver, these tablets will allow inmates the ability to send emails, make phone calls, view their prison bank accounts, order certain personal products and get in touch with prison staff. No music or games, as of right now, but officials say that option will eventually be included.

The tablets will not have internet access. All phone calls and emails will be monitored.

The company, Global Tell Link, is spending its own money ($800,000) to provide the tablets. Their plan is to recoup that money by charging the inmates and their families for video chats, emails, phone calls and eventually downloads such as games and music. Here is the breakdown of those charges:

  • Phone calls - 12 cents a minute
  • Emails - 25 cents each
  • Video calls (10 minutes) - $4
  • Video calls (25 minutes) - $10

I had to take a breath and read the whole story before responding. Initial thoughts are 'Are you kidding me?' I don't even have a tablet. That's probably because I have a house and car payment, utility bills, insurance and medical bills and a decent grocery bill every week. So, WHY should Colorado prisoners be given more free stuff? I don't know the exact inner workings of the prison system, but I watch the TV show '60 Days In' and it sure seems like prisoners don't have it as bad as I thought they did.