Whether inmates should have access to video games and entertainment systems while in a correctional facility is often a heated debate. There are those who feel that while doing time, inmates should be focusing on retribution and rehabilitation and not have access to creature comforts like television, computers, or video game devices. The other side of that argument typically believes that retribution and rehabilitation are important, however, they value the positive impact that providing electronic devices to inmates can provide.
What are the positive impacts that gaming provides to inmates?
The impact actually starts long before the acquisition of the device itself.
In the programs we have been a part of, the gaming devices are part of a behavior incentive program. Meaning these programs use positive reinforcement (the ability to earn or purchase a gaming device) to teach and reward good behavior. The incentive programs work beautifully as it gives the inmate a goal that they actually work toward while incarcerated.
As you can imagine, when incarcerated, setting and achieving goals can be a challenge because so much of your day-to-day life is out of your hands. GED, technical and rehabilitation programs all help create the positive response loop associated with setting and achieving a goal, however, the full potential of that goal does not come until you are out of prison. Passing the GED and receiving a diploma feels good but realizing the true benefit of an education is much more apparent outside the prison walls.
Delayed - but realized - gratification is the reason why a behavior incentive program using gaming devices can be so impactful. The inmate can see the reward and knows the exact steps needed in order to earn the device. The gratification is not immediate but can be realized while still incarcerated. And the incentive doesn’t stop once the device is in hand. Additional games or applications can be added as the desired behavior becomes more and more habitual for the inmate. Setting and achieving a goal while incarcerated can have long lasting impacts on self-confidence and self-reliance both of which will help an inmate succeed outside of the prison walls.
Entertainment devices made for correctional facilities.
What we offer at Fully Loaded Electronics is a modified version of the most popular gaming devices. Our devices won’t connect to the Internet and don’t require cartridges to load the games. The systems come fully loaded with games rated ‘E’ for Everyone with no violent or offensive games included.
Fully Loaded gaming devices provide necessary entertainment to a population that needs positive reinforcement and could use a little distraction. If you're on the fence about whether or not inmates should have access to devices for entertainment, we hope this article highlighted the positive impact these programs can have.