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How to Stay in Touch With an Incarcerated Loved One Using a Tablet

Prisons often utilize secure messaging systems like JPay to enable inmates to send and receive email and text messages securely, as well as use tablets provided and monitored by their facilities to access education, health care information and legal forms.

But the companies operating these messaging systems remain in business to make money – and their tactics may be troubling.

Message Link

Message Link is an electronic communication platform that enables family and friends to keep in contact with incarcerated loved ones more safely and cost effectively than traditional phone calls, which may be intercepted. It features database search capabilities, three-way call detection detection, transcript of inmate’s message transcriptions as well as sender/attorney verification features for legal mail sent with contraband-free legal mail sent.

Inmates can use tablets to communicate throughout the day and night with one another, write letters to family and friends, access education or work-related tasks and perform other necessary duties. The system is easy to learn; users can log into their accounts from any computer with internet connectivity – they may even receive emails from family members!

Some states charge per-message and per-minute rates, with the latter option often more suitable for people with lower literacy levels who must send and read messages repeatedly. Companies also gain twice from each e-message sent – once when someone sends it and again when a recipient reads it! This pricing model may prove costly for users with limited literacy levels who must send and receive multiple messages at a time, not to mention that companies profit twice from every electronic message sent and received.

Correctional facilities should take steps to lower messaging costs by permitting multiple providers’ apps on each tablet, encouraging competition and driving down prices. In addition, correctional facilities must ensure their messaging providers’ privacy policies clearly outline how information is used and by whom.


After years of successful campaigns by advocates and regulators to reduce prison and jail phone rates, companies have sought new ways to monetize communication between those who are incarcerated and the outside world. One emerging service that has recently seen increasing popularity is electronic messaging – this allows prisoners to receive messages from family via tablets within facilities. While such technology helps keep families connected while also raising privacy issues.

Inmates can access their accounts through computer kiosks or tablets located within their housing area, where messages can be sent pre-paid collect /COD for 50 cents; less than the cost of postage stamps! Inmates may also use this system to send photos directly home from within prison walls as well as access SmartVisit video visitation service.

Although not the most costly solution available, this system provides correctional facilities with an effective and secure method to streamline their incarceration processes by providing digital documents that allow officers to keep an inmate track their progression within a facility. In addition, integrations exist between this solution and CAD/RMS systems allow real-time tracking and automated data entry processes to occur seamlessly.

SmartJAIL pricing varies based on the size and nature of its operation; interested organizations should contact Smart Communications directly for a quote. Please be aware that Smart Communications and any correctional facility where individuals are housed may monitor content such as electronic messages, photos, videos, telephone calls, processed postal mail (except legal mail ), uploaded documents and any other materials sent or handled through or handled by Services; communications between Members and correctional facilities however may be exempted from monitoring.


ConnectNetwork offers friends and family members an effective and secure messaging system to stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones through a secure messaging platform available online and mobile devices. Users may sign up free for use; however, message credits must be purchased before sending any message. In addition to messaging capabilities, ConnectNetwork offers many other services which help individuals stay in contact with their inmates.

Communicating with loved ones incarcerated can now be easier than ever with ConnectNetwork’s messaging feature, which makes using it simple and accessible from any computer or mobile device. All that’s necessary to use it effectively is an account, valid credit/debit card information, and messaging credits; then compose and send off your message directly.

ConnectNetwork offers inmates access to an abundance of educational and entertainment content. Ranging from classic novels and comics, sports, and brain-challenging games – to breaking news updates via newspapers and magazines, music streaming radio, music viewing radio channels or listening to music/radio programs; they can even deposit funds in AdvancePay accounts (prepaid collect calling accounts which allow inmates to call friends/family via funds they deposit online or with the ConnectNetwork mobile app) so they stay abreast of events happening around them.


GettingOut is an Android phone application that enables users to send messages, photos and Facebook posts directly from Android phones to incarcerated friends and loved ones at various correctional facilities. Inmates can respond using internal messages as well as respond via Facebook and Foursquare check-ins. Sharing of messages and photos are free on both sides, while there may be fees charged for other functions like 3-minute voicemails.

GettingOut’s goal is to enhance connection and reduce recidivism through providing a safe, reliable communication platform that offers inmates more ways of remaining productive while behind bars. Wireless tablets equipped with free education apps and fee-based entertainment apps, phone service apps, phone numbers and the GettingOut e-messaging app allow inmates access. Family and friends may deposit funds into accounts that enable inmates to make calls or video visits at nominal fees charged per service rendered by GettingOut.