DALLAS, Texas (February 10, 2020) – In the second installment of the profile series, “Improving Lives From the Inside Out”, the story features an interview with an incarcerated individual who has been empowered with educational technology provided by Securus Technologies® to help prepare for successful reintegration into society upon release. This installment highlights Jacob Currey, an incarcerated individual at the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.
Since Kendall County Sheriff’s Office introduced the Securus Technologies SecureView® Tablet in July of 2019, unproductive idle time has been replaced with opportunities to build both knowledge and inspiration, according to Sheriff Dwight Baird and the incarcerated individuals. Currently, 140 tablets have been distributed to residents since the program launched.
“The incarcerated individuals have time on their hands. With the educational, job search and mental health content available on the community tablets, they can put that time to constructive use,” said Baird.
Nationwide, Securus Technologies provides over 60,000 incarcerated individuals equal access to critical content on the complimentary SecureView® community tablets with programs such as education, overall betterment, mental health and religion. The wide variety of content has helped Currey envision a path to rebuild his life with education, self-help and employment that gives him hope for the future.
“I plan to earn my degree in a field that provides good employment options. Using the SecureView® Tablet, I have started looking at job opportunities, testing my skills and begun taking classes,” he stated emphatically. “I got knowledge and the learning skills to gain employment.”
Currey’s favorite programs on the community tablets are those that help him sharpen his skills in math, science, history and civics. He especially enjoys the self-paced learning and testing. He has set high goals and the digital resources have educated him on everything from the college AP process to obtaining financial aid, grants, and even scholarships.
“I want to study computer networking, get certified as a Cisco network associate and get a job at Cisco, IBM, Oracle, or AT&T,” Currey added.
However, he is not only focused on his career aspirations. The tablets have helped him focus on what is important through its religious programming. He has learned life is not just about helping yourself, but also about aiding others as well.
“I want to assist youth to get them in the right direction,” Currey stated. “Having spiritual guidance helps me stay positive and maintain a good mindset. Through spiritual growth, I can help others. It gives me a sense of fulfillment.”
According to Sheriff Baird, opportunity is the key factor in aiding incarcerated individuals improve their lives and build success and that is why he was excited to add the SecureView® Tablet to his facility.
The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office houses about 90 federal incarcerated individuals and, as a result, receives routine inspections. A recent tour included a federal judge.
“He wanted to get a look at the environment of the federal inmates. He was absolutely elated with the tablets and commended us on its betterment opportunities. He was singing praises about them,” Baird added.
The tablets for incarcerated individuals have also had a positive impact on the jail environment in another way. Both the Sheriff and Currey believe the tablets have exceeded expectations by helping to lower the noise in the facility and also help drastically reduce inmate-on-inmate violence.
“They look at a tablet as a work environment. It grants them opportunities, so they don’t feel helpless or jealous of one another,” stated Baird.
For Currey, the tablets are an escape from negativity. “You’re going into your own world to prevent physical altercations. And in my case, I also love to learn. The tablets take me away from TV life, card games, defiance and arguments,” he said.
Currey reflects on how he wound up in jail to begin with. He was young, shaped by his environment, which he thought was the world and the only way. But now, he knows better and has a plan.
“I want a job that allows me to contribute to society and that I can feel good about at the end of the day.”