Providing Gaming Options in Facilities Increases Security and Rehabilitation
March 5, 2018
As a leading innovator of corrections technology, GTL has long understood the importance of offering a wide range of technology and education products. To this end, one of the innovations GTL has developed for inmate tablets is a range of video games. GTL’s Game Center Subscription application gives inmates access to a facility-approved library of games that is constantly changing and expanding due to popularity and demand. In the almost two years since it was launched, the app has continued to be both a source of entertainment as well as a great education resource.
Although video games can’t be a replacement for education, recent studies have shown that they can be an effective educational tool in a variety of environments. Furthermore, educational video games can provide cognitive and behavioral training to their players, something Kurt Squire at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, asserted in his 2008 paper Video Games and Education. Squire describes players taking part in a “culture of participation… [and] setting up scenarios and exploring under what conditions they might work.” That kind of cognitive development could be key to helping inmates get ready to re-enter the outside world.
Beyond the educational and cognitive potential of tablet-based games, they also provide a welcome change of pace from the tedium that often accompanies incarceration. We shouldn’t forget how motivating it can be to have activities to occupy your time. At one facility in Pima County, Arizona, allowing inmates to have access to tablets and a range of approved content including games has resulted in notable decreases in suicide attempts and ideations, successful suicides, inmate on staff assaults, and inmate-on-inmate assaults.