SXSW 2021

Tech & Prison Comms: The Impact on Recidivism


In today’s world of constant technological disruption the prison system has been incredibly slow to adapt. Distressingly, text and voicemail are major innovations to the current communication infrastructure. The pandemic has also brought about a crisis in the inability of support groups to visit prisoners and continue programs. The Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center reports half of all prisoners lose touch with friends and family while in prison, yet research illustrates the importance of maintaining social connections while incarcerated to be successful on release. This panel sees experts in this space discuss the current exploitative state of prison communications and why corrections departments could see better outcomes by embracing new communications technologies and policies.

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  1. The current archaic and corrupt state of communications in correctional facilities impedes maintaining relationships with outside support networks
  2. How and what technology is finally being implemented to transform prison communications for inmates and their families
  3. The long term impact of technological innovations on incarcerated persons including reduced recidivism - especially with COVID-19 blocking visitations



Liv Allen, VP, WE Codeword

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