I never really thought about what prisoners in New York State prisons may have or need. Apparently, there's a new company that will soon give individual prisoners brand new tablets.

I was reading about this on NewYorkUpstate.com, there's a company called JPay that wants to give free tablets to New York State inmates without any cost to the state or to the inmates. They say the reason is to give inmates the opportunity to further educate themselves for future court proceedings and email their families.

The devices will not have general internet access but inmates have the opportunity to pay for ebooks, music, or other entertainment through their commissionary account and the money will go to JPay. There's no word as to when this will happen but it was announced at a budget hearing in Albany on Wednesday.

I feel like everyone should have an equal opportunity to defend themselves and I don't disagree with internet access to further educate themselves, especially as the level of crimes varies. It seems as if these tablets will be at no cost to the New York State taxpayer from what I can see. My main concern is that I'm sure there are schools in the Capital Region who wouldn't mind new individual tablets for students or even tablets for their libraries that need it a little more than inmates do. What do you think?

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