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  • Writer's pictureSusan Rohwer

RCP Program Turning Cells Into Classrooms In Boston Globe

Reentry Campus Program (RCP) has a tech project we've launched within the prison that is turning cells into virtual classrooms. The Boston Globe featured James Montiero, founder and Executive Director, as an Ocean State Innovator for the project debut.


Correctional control and lack of specialized resources make it hard to build tech into incarcerated people’s lives. However, in collaboration with the Department of Corrections and the tech company Ameelio, we're giving students inside prisons a chance to access high-quality digital education–an innovation we’re rolling out here in RI.


Tablets facilitate incarcerated peoples' access to higher education, which is proven to reduce recidivism. Studies suggest the higher the degree a student acquires, the lower their chances of returning to prison.


Considering Rhode Island's recidivism rate is 47%, we need to reimagine how to prepare returning citizens. The reality is that each year, between 700,000 and 800,000 people are released into the community. Digital access for those in prison means better digital literacy for those coming home–giving them a better chance at higher-paying jobs.


Our state's prisons are strained, both in space that can be used as classrooms and staff to monitor them. Tablets give those who are incarcerated the ability to work independently, turning their cells into classrooms.


It also helps students access coursework to prepare for "prior learning assessments"–tests that help adult learners gain college credit for life experience. The use of these tests is proven to help students save time and money in the pursuit of postsecondary education. Reentry Campus Program is the only organization allowed to do this testing in the ACI.


Reentry Campus Program is disrupting the costly revolving door of our correctional system by getting affordable, high-quality education and technology into the hands of those who are incarcerated one tablet at a time.


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