$275,000 to be spent on tablets for prisoners; Neighbors weigh in

South San Francisco, CA   October 27, 2014

While San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi supports this 2 year pilot program which gives 100 inmates computer tablets at the cost of $275, 000 our local neighbors had a very different view. The tablets will be remotely monitored and will allow inmates access to four secure websites locals believe any monies should be spent on students in the school system. While this is not an issue that impacts our own students it does show the concern our community has towards supplies not being provided to schools.  Funding for this program comes from the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, Five Keys Charter School (Charter School for inmates), and the Wellness Foundation according to NBC Bay Area News.  Sunny Schwartz, a Program Administrator with the SF Sheriff’s Office for over 22 years founded this program, and is known for her work to educate prisoners with the intent to reduce recidivism.   The Director of the Charter School, Steve Good is quoted by The Grio as saying

“We hope this will help bridge the digital divide and provide inmates access to technology that every elementary, middle and high school student already has, but has been out of reach for those forgotten by society.”

To read more about the nation’s first Charter School for inmates, which operates in the County Jail in San Bruno  CLICK HERE.

Our neighbors had some interesting comments to our question ‘What are your thoughts on this $275,000 pilot program giving SF inmates computer tablets?’. Now with more information above we invite you to share yours as well.

Over 25 neighbors agreed with the first comment which came from Terr, do you?

Terry: Personally I think its horrible. when our kids don’t have gym equipment, money for more computers and ipads, but somehow we can give $275k to inmates, that have food, shelter and more rights and privileges than our youth. I think if we had our priorities straight to begin with we can avoid them ending up in jail.”

Sylvia Stupid! Period

Olivia That money or tablets should go to the schools.

Nick One of the dumbest things I have ever read..

Darlene As long as the inmate is on a confirmed timeline to release back into our neighborhoods, I’ve got no issue with them receiving training and educational support for the chance to succeed. Remember, our prison system is supposes to be punitive…and rehabilitative.


Nick Why on earth would we reward criminals, when there are countless other progressive ways to spend our tax money.. you know like education, road work, ect.

I’d rather them burn the money then give it away to a bunch of low life’s in jail.

Terry they can be rehabilitated with library books and basics and pay for school when they get out like everyone else.

Loren I don’t even have a tablet or a degree… Maybe I should commit a felony.

Laura No

Pam Never should happen

Stacy More should be invested in CHILDRENS NEEDS, not inmates desires.

Milton they should be giving them to students who clearly deserve it better.

AJ I believe in helping reform & educating low risk/non- violent crime inmates but this is ridiculous. This by no means is teaching them a trade to help them find work once they are released. Is this like how parents use tablets to pacify their toddlers, turning the inmates into online zombies so they are easier to deal with?! They already get three meals a day and a roof over their head, some of our children don’t even have these basic needs. If you make jail/prison so damn comfortable no ones going to care if they get locked up… Rents paid, groceries paid and now toys are paid for.

Yolanda U mm we are always trying to raise money for our kids schools and programs…how about giving less to inmates and more to our children so they Don end up in jail…

Griselda Not a good use of our money. My kid’s school iPads were stolen a couple of years ago, they had been purchased with grant money and private donations. Another private donor stepped in to replace the stolen tablets. Why would inmates get this with our taxpayer money?? Outrageous!

Onyx Great, they get tablets and our school have to struggle just to get simple supplies. Way to go.

Matela WTF!?

Donna Wow…this is bullshit

Deborah oh hell no i thought they are in jail no play time

Sally why dont these bums that are in jail, trying using a pencil and paper. What a concept that might be. They can even learn to sharpen the pencil. Leave the tablets to the kids in school. But of course only in SF what a joke wonder if Mirkarmi is proud of this decision? But of course he must be.

Franklin More stupidity

Christine My daughter needs one next year not sure how i am going to pay for it !!! Wtf but my taxes go to help them get one…. Just in not right…. I just don’t understand……smh……. Sorry Kaitlyn……..

Lane Bad idea. They may not even have an iPad in the luxury of their own home. Why reward bad behavior?

Mareth Wow, I know of many deserving children that could learn and thrive if they had access to a computer. Hopefully this isn’t a done deal. While I believe in rehabilitation, this hits a sore spot!

Meg BULLSHIT!!! How about providing these for our schools? Why are we treating our inmates so kind and nice!!! They make it so glamorous, no wonder people don’t behave anymore!

Yesenia Even though our schools could be in need of this what about homeless shelters like Homeandhope Sanmateo Ihn

Christina It’s bullshit. They are in jail/prison for a reason. You are rewarding them for doing bad..

Anthony Hell now Commit the crimes do the time. Hard Time!

Cecilia I agree ^^^ the schools need them more then the inmates!!!

William Hard labor needs to return to prisons. That’s part of life training, learning how to work hard on the first place.

Dan Bad idea! Who pays to replace the iPads when the inmates break them. When most folks could give zero fucks about the inmates in the first place.

Elisa No give it to the school s first

Manabu If they want tablets in prison, make them available to purchase through the prison store.They can work and buy them just like anybody else.

Isabel If they’re trying to help them find jobs after they get out they should hold more lecture like practices in the prisons. Money or tablets should be going towards education towards youth because out school funds are crap. Inmates have it way better than our youth in school and elderly in retirement homes. They need to put tax money towards a better use

They should have a room with a few old school computers that are monitored. That’s it. Come On what a waste of money! Use it on kids in school or feeding American children who go to bed hungry each night.

David You all make me weep for the species.

Evangeline No

Dolores This state is going to hell. What the hell are we giving the computer Tablets for? Aren’t they in jail for a reason!!!!

Sally I agree, Like I said I think they are fine with a pencil and paper .

Jay not even, give them Chalk

Raul Wtf are they thinking?

Kathi Bad , Bad idea

Florence I am furious!! I’m a teacher and have to beg for everything!! Sure wish my students could have tablets!!! Someone’s got it wrong!!

Carye Pathetic! Maybe put our kids’ education first. Just a thought…

Kimberly They need to invest that money in our Childrens future/education

Deborah what is the rest of the $$$$ going to …100 ipads does not cost 275,000 how much administrative overhead is that being used for?? seems if you want to reduce the rate of recidivism you could spend it a bit more wisely …

Charles no way waste money. josie

Debi Ever watch Shawshank redemption? So many inside because they are illiterate, they deserve a chance to get it right and know the new technology available out here. Not everyone is inside because of a heinous crime!

Sally Debi, maybe they should of taken night classes to learn to read and write instead of committing crimes and landing in jail, for the tax payers to pay for their new ipads.

Jessica Wth I don’t even have a tablet lol

George Our tax dollars at work…. being pissed away as usual

Andrea Bullshit




3 comments for “$275,000 to be spent on tablets for prisoners; Neighbors weigh in

  1. barrowak99723
    October 29, 2014 at 4:46 am

    I hear ya, but we don’t want ignorant people being released from jail either…we want them to have the knowledge to be rehabilitated and decrease recidivism. No one wants to become a victim of them. The thinking is if we continue to education them (even adults in jail), then, they can become production citizens…and not commit crimes anymore…never give up on anyone!

  2. Marie
    October 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

    We definitely have one sick society, rewarding people who committed crimes. Whoever created this idea and supporting it are absolutely idiots! There are far better recipients for this tablets or the money i.e. students in need, food for the hungry, etc.
    If we really want these inmates to learn, give them books to read, pay a teacher to go and tach them or have them watch an educational program on TV. Better yet, give them jobs to do and make them work, inside the prison. Yes, teach them trades so they have some intelligent things to do when they come out of prison. There are far so many ways to learn, if the inmates really want to rehabilitate themselves. We are already using taxpayers money to feed the inmates and provide for their healthcare.
    Hmmm, I wonder if someone is getting a “kickback” for the purchase of these tablets. Why on earth was it even introduced?

  3. Ben
    May 30, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    100 tablets at the cost of $275,000. It averages to $2,750 per tablet. Typically a new tablet costs at between $200 and $600 per piece. The prisons are paying more than 4 times of typical cost of a new tablet. What kinds of high-end tablets do they get? Aren’t there kick-backs and corruption?

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