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Introducing digital technologies into prisons: Issues and challenges

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• Working with jurisdictions to introduce technologies: Sceptics and advocates
• Winning hearts and minds: Working with custodial
• Security considerations: Learning what can be dangerous
• Third party security certifications
• What can go wrong and how to prevent it
• The role of dynamic security
• Making it sustainable

Published in: Technology
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Introducing digital technologies into prisons: Issues and challenges

  1. 1. Introducing digital technologies into prisons: Issues and challenges Associate Professor Helen Farley Digital Life Lab University of Southern Queensland
  2. 2. How do I know? • Introduced digital technologies for learning into correctional centres • In Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory • Private and public prisons • Probation and parole • 1000 prisoners over 4 years • No security breaches
  3. 3. The challenges • No internet • Restricted access to technology • Competition with vocational and cognitive training • Universities increasingly online • Prioritisation of custodial • No social or cultural capital
  4. 4. Our solution • 2 technologies • Server • Personal device • Technologies loaded with USQ StudyDesk • Provides access to a selection of USQ courses and programs designed to work without internet
  5. 5. A sad story …
  6. 6. Advocates • Keeping prisoners occupied • Developing digital literacies • Skills for learning and working • Skills for living • Mindfulness • Diabetes management • Eases movement restrictions • Eases pain of dislocation
  7. 7. Sceptics • Too smart for their own good • They’re in there for a reason • All technology is corruptible • All prisoners want to corrupt technology • Coercion • Ready access to OS, mobile technologies, USBs • Power illegal devices (watch the YouTube!)
  8. 8. Custodial is king
  9. 9. Working with custodial • Must be given opportunity to voice their concerns • Must be given opportunity to explore technologies • Must work within existing systems, approvals • Use existing processes • These are the people who pick up the pieces
  10. 10. Learning what can be dangerous • All the usual: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cameras • Mass storage devices • Powered ports • Batteries • Cords • Places to hide stuff: physical and virtual • Desktop shortcuts • An accomplice
  11. 11. What we’ve done … Device Manager Software • Two log ins: Education officer and Student • Group policies • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, network, camera, recorder, ports disabled • Device Manager Software constantly scans for attempts at re-enabling • Constantly scans for file types • Automatically disables everything upon sleeping • Limits visibility for Student of drives: Can’t hide anything • Tick or cross in task bar
  12. 12. Third party security certifications • Some peace of mind for jurisdictions • Will find something • Balancing risk and benefit • Need to address concerns • Jurisdictions watch each other
  13. 13. What can go wrong? • Reactivating deactivated functionality • Using devices for other than intended purposes • Lighting cigarettes from shorted cords • Creating illegal documents/files • Offensive prose/poetry • Pornographic material • Coercion • Jealousy/resentment • Use as a physical weapon
  14. 14. Prevention … the easy things • Thorough screening of prisoners for suitability … or not? • Agreements, e.g. Qld In-Cell Laptop Agreement • Hire - investment • Documentation, e.g. what should it look like? • Rugged hardware (and software) • Training of education/custodial officers and prisoners
  15. 15. Dynamic security • Education is a privilege • Work with prisoners to know where they are at with their studies • Shift in identity - prosocial • Development of higher cognitive skills • Builds resilience • Develops vocabulary and fosters negotiation • Develop self-reliance and self-regulation • Gain digital literacies • Oh, and to gain a qualification
  16. 16. ‘Education has made me more well-behaved … it’s had a calming effect … gave me something else to think about … stopped me acting so impulsively … gave me some long term thoughts …’ Damien, undergraduate incarcerated student in the Making the Connection project Maryborough Correctional Centre, 31 July 2015
  17. 17. Making the Connection • 1000 incarcerated students • 2000 course enrolments • 77% retention rate • All but one correctional centre in Queensland • Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory • Negotiating a different mode of delivery in the ACT • Proposals with Victoria and South Australia • Recently, deployed with Probation & Parole in Ipswich and Inala
  18. 18. Programs • Tertiary Preparation Program • Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program • Diploma of Arts • Diploma of Science • Associate Degree of Business Administration
  19. 19. A happier story …
  20. 20. Pictures from Flickr … • 2765 Cold by nebojsa mladjenovic • FACER5 by akaTman • Prison cell by Aapo Haapanen • Finger by Andreas Levers • The music is all I have left by Neil Moralee • Netbook Sony VAIO by Antonio Tajuelo • Crown by Peter Clark • Shattered by jeff gloriana • Power cord by The Next Web • Broken lock by Mike Myers • Sparks by Kevin Faccenda • Community ..... by Kamaljith K V • A CATastrophic Surprise by Susan Gilson • Thank You by Nate Grigg
  21. 21. A couple of other conferences … • The Australasian Corrections Education Association Conference • October 3 – 5 Canberra • https://acea.org.au/ • Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education • December 4 – 6 Toowoomba • http://2017conference.ascilite.org/
  22. 22. Keeping in touch … Project newsletter http://bit.ly/USQMakingtheConnection
  23. 23. Helen Farley 07 4631 1738 helen.farley@usq.edu.au

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