MIAMI, Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In early 2016, JPay launched JPay's Lantern, a first-of-its-kind initiative that enables mass education of incarcerated individuals through the use of tablets. Working with prison facilities in Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana and West Virginia, Lantern provides incarcerated individuals with the opportunity for educational attainment, creating a better chance of success upon release, thereby reducing recidivism. Since the launch of the groundbreaking program – the only education solution in corrections that offers college credits through the use of tablets – matriculation and overall participation have been unprecedented:
- More than 70,400 incarcerated individuals have enrolled
- Over 32,000 college credits have been earned in partnership with Ashland University
- More than 4 million education course files have been downloaded onto JPay tablets
- Lantern has contributed to a 456% increase in graduation rates for the Georgia Department of Corrections
Thousands of students enrolled in Lantern after applying for the Second Chance Pell Grant pilot program, which was reinstated in June 2016. The grant allowed for 12,000 incarcerated students across the country to enroll in postsecondary educational and training programs across 67 universities, and the first three students to earn their associate's degree recently graduated from Ashland University in Ohio using the Lantern platform.
"JPay's Lantern created digital education opportunities that never existed. Leveraging a virtual classroom platform, thousands of incarcerated students have taken basic courses, earned college credits and received college degrees," said Jerry McGlone, Interim Director of the Gill Center at Ashland University. "These students have real hope and can even continue their education with Ashland University once released, an invaluable advantage in the reentry process. We couldn't have reached these milestones without a transformative program such as Lantern."
The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is the first to implement a state-wide digital educational initiative that utilizes Lantern, providing JPay tablets to more than 50,000 incarcerated individuals. By leveraging Lantern's digital education platform, the student population in 44 facilities has accessed more than 100 GED prep courses and downloaded remediation and enrichment content in general education modules. In addition to structured courses, GDC students have downloaded over 2.2 million KA Lite videos – a free offering through Lantern.
"We believe education is the key to rehabilitation and post-release success. So when we realized we could leverage our extensive network to dramatically expand access to education, it was a no-brainer – we had to pursue it," said Errol Feldman, CEO of JPay. "And while the program's success to date has been gratifying, our goal is to extend the digital education revolution to the entire incarcerated population."
Studies prove that education reduces recidivism. Digital solutions, such as JPay's Lantern, will put tablets in the hands of the incarcerated population so they can use their time served to earn a degree and be productive members of society upon release.
JPay, a Securus Technologies Company, designs, builds and deploys its technology to prisons and jails across the country, establishing correspondence to help educate and rehabilitate offenders. Serving more than 1.9 million offenders and parolees in 34 states, JPay makes the corrections process more convenient for offenders and their loved ones, while modernizing processes and increasing intelligence capabilities for corrections facilities. Products include money transfer services, tablets, email and video communications, education, games, music and more.
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