Benton County Jail is exploring new advances in technology to keep their corrections officers safe.

The jail is considering the use of taser gloves as a defensive tactics tool.

Corrections Lieutenant Josh Combs says the taser glove is a low voltage alternative to a taser gun.

"It has pads along the fingers and the palm of the hand. When it makes contact with skin, it creates a pain sensation." Combs said.

The use of taser gloves at the jail may require some additional study and/or training as a small number of jurisdictions around the country have reportedly stopped using them because they were applied excessively.

Other technological advances at the Benton County jail include the use of tablets for inmates with good behavior.

"We adopted a new contract with a company called ViaPath that provides tablets for inmates to use. In addition to handling video visitation, they also provide educational content. There's Khan Academy, there's GED classes, practice tests for everything from GED to MCAT, and LSAT. All kinds of educational content and then some entertainment programming as well." Combs said.

Benefits to the inmate tablet program include:

  • Keeps inmates busy.
  • The threat of losing access to tablets keeps them better behaved.
  • Safer for the staff to keep inmates happy.
  • Allows communication with family members.
  • Educational programming.
  • Legal research.
  • Social programming such as anger management, substance abuse, etc.

Free services are already available for use on the device at the Benton County Jail. Family and friends may pay for subscription services with deposits into the inmate's jail account. Inmates would then be able to buy premium content.

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