By Jennifer Leonard
College prep classes inside jails and prisons are an often-discussed, but seldom realized subject. There’s either not enough spots for everyone interested to participate, or there’s not enough money to offer classes in the first place.
One Chicago tech startup wants to change that dynamic. Jail Education Solutions developed Edovo, an app technology that runs on tablets. Inmates can rent the device and pursue their individual learning goals at their own pace and at low cost.
Jason Little was 18 years old when he was incarcerated at Cook County Jail. Back in 2001, programs like Edovo weren’t offered to inmates. Hope House and Cook County Alumni Association saved Little and helped him turn his life around. He is now working for Cook County Jail and supports former inmates transition back into society–a task that might soon be even easier through technologies like Edovo.
According to a 2013 study by the RAND Corporation, correctional education programs can reduce the recidivism rate by 43%. Edovo will be officially introduced at two juvenile facilities in Chicago and Warrenville at the end of April.