Reducing Recidivism and Encouraging Education in America’s Prison Systems

by Joseph Mandros January 14, 2020 | 4 min read

The problem of mass incarceration in the United States has increased with each passing decade since the 1980s. In America, over 2.3 million people are currently behind bars in state, federal, juvenile, and local facilities, a 500% increase over the last 40 years. And although the U.S. spends more than $74 billion each year trying to solve the issue of mass incarceration, inmate recidivism rates are still north of 50% and total incarcerated population rates continue to rise.

Funding and resources are more focused on macro needs like housing, food, and other necessities that stem from congested environments rather than on individual and social needs such as familial communication, educational services, and other growth opportunities for the incarcerated. So how do you address these needs that are becoming more and more marginalized as prison populations continue to rise? Well, that’s where edovo comes in.

Raising the Bar Behind Bars

Edovo is a social impact organization dedicated to helping anyone connected to incarceration build better lives. Since its initial launch in 2014, edovo has been building technology solutions to provide fair and honest communication services, vocational programming, and re-entry preparation for justice-involved people and their loved ones. Edovo utilizes secure tablet technology to deliver free access to educational services and low-cost communication programs to incarcerated individuals across the nation.

The organization also provides services where incarcerated individuals can more easily speak to friends and family over the phone. Today, edovo has over 200,000 active users across more than 40 states, with more than 75% of the population in major American jail and prison housing units using edovo’s services on a weekly basis.

The edovo platform is designed with the end user in mind to target and address the many hardships and obstacles incarcerated individuals can face, particularly around education and communicating with loved ones. Edovo users can access all of the information, programs, and services they need via issued hardware tablets. For example, some may want to get a better understanding of their rights and the legal process or receive a GED certification, while others serving extended terms and life sentences may want to just learn something new and continue to keep in touch with family and friends. Edovo provides these services for tens of thousands of incarcerated individuals on a daily basis.

“We are committed to providing a system that is equitable for the incarcerated, their loved ones at home, and the correctional officers.”
Brian Hill, Founder and CEO, edovo

Maintaining Personal Connections Through Technology

With 200,000 active users who rely on these tablets to keep in touch with the outside world, operating a highly available and resilient infrastructure is a necessity in order to handle the network traffic between disparate internal- and external-facing applications. Because inmates are only allotted a certain amount of time on the tablets, monitoring application performance and infrastructure health in real time is critical to maintaining the end-user experience and ensuring services are always available for users. If a server goes down for an hour, that could mean a full session of learning lost or video conferences with families for entire facilities for inmates due to the already shortened window they have to access the application.

Using PagerDuty, edovo is able to monitor their mission-critical applications inside the facilities in real time by integrating with edovo’s logging software and Pingdom to ensure complete visibility into their monitoring stack.

PagerDuty also helps edovo analyze server traffic and error response codes in order to give edovo teams a transparent, real-time view into the health of its infrastructure. Using PagerDuty, edovo’s engineering teams were able to build automation into the response process to help assess the scope of an incident and its potential impact on end-users, and orchestrate a targeted and timely response.

Whether incarcerated individuals leverage edovo’s services to access programs like coding lessons, receive commercial driver certifications, text their loved ones, or watch video clips of their children taking their first steps, PagerDuty is determined to continue its partnership with edovo to ensure these programs, services, and moments are always available for their users.