Technology Access in Higher Education in Prison Programs

August 23, 2022
Steve Pokornowski and Kurtis Tanaka

Early research on the expansion of postsecondary educational opportunities in carceral settings is very positive. However, existing research suggests that educational and skills-based inequities hinder system impacted learners. While higher education in prison (HEP) programs are well-equipped to address such inequities, they often lack access to the digital technologies necessary for improving the digital literacy and technological savvy of their students.

Recent research emphasizing the value of digital literacy for both employment and reentry highlights the importance of increasing access to technology for incarcerated students, and marks access to networked digital technologies as a matter of educational quality and equity.  Yet, there is very little information about how different programs and facilities are experimenting with technology to support HEP students or how they navigate implementation.