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Using Virtual Reality To Prepare Inmates for Release

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2018
9 pages
This article describes how Colorado is using virtual-reality technology as a component of a new program that assists long-term inmates who are preparing for possible release to be prepared for independent living that includes procedures and technologies with which they are unfamiliar.
This is a 3-year program for felony juvenile offenders convicted and sentenced as adults for serious crimes and who have served at least 20 years of their sentences. Currently, there are nine male inmates in the program conducted at the medium-security Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City. The program includes classroom instruction on a range of topics, including job-skills training, health-care concepts, time management, and dealing with confrontational situations. Virtual reality is being used as part of the program. It immerses inmates in a life-like environment so they can become familiar with modern ways of performing daily activities, such as grocery shopping with automated checkout, using washing machines and dryers, using a cell phone, and preparing for and participating in a job interview. In the spring, there are plans to establish the same type of program for women inmates at the La Vista Correctional Facility.

Date Published: March 1, 2018