By Ryan Blanc, Associate Governmental Program Analyst
Division of Rehabilitative Programs

CDCR will be introducing modern day digital media technology into the rehabilitative efforts within the institutions without compromising safety and security by using the Internet Protocol Television Integration project (IPTVI).

IPTVI will utilize high speed internet connections to stream rehabilitative and educational video content to the inmate population statewide from a single centralized location at headquarters. This is a massive improvement over the current communication standards available for media distribution at CDCR institutions. Through these technological upgrades, IPTVI will modernize content accessibility while also saving the state of California money, time and resources.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP) and Enterprise Information Services (EIS), institutions are being retrofitted in order to make this service available. Once installation of this state-of-the-art technology is complete, media content will be streamed from CDCR headquarters to all 35 institutions simultaneously which will be viewable in classrooms, day rooms and housing units (modalities may vary depending on the infrastructure of each institution). The IPTVI project will greatly increase the amount and quality of media content that is currently available for education, rehabilitation and training purposes. By modernizing delivery methods and content accessibility, IPTVI will provide counselors, teachers, program contractors and television specialists with an abundance of video content to choose from to enhance their courses and broadcast schedules.

The programming on the IPTVI channels will act as a supplemental tool to the programs and classes already offered, and will help aid inmates in their efforts to complete milestone credits.

Dr. Brantley Choate, DRP Director (A), said the IPTVI project will help CDCR meet its goals of reducing recidivism by “improving and enhancing current rehabilitative programs.” He added that IPTVI is “the answer to a lot of problems.”

The IPTVI project will be introducing six new channels to every institution to be managed in two ways:

Four channels have been branded and designated to stream specific content to aid the inmates in the different stages and areas of their rehabilitation journeys. These four channels will be completely managed by and streamed to the institutions directly from the media center in headquarters.

-Freedom TV offers valuable resources to aid inmates in their pursuit of developing positive social and personal skills in order to gain their freedom and also reduce their likelihood of recidivating. Freedom TV focuses on their rehabilitative efforts in substance-use disorders, anger management, criminal thinking, and family relationships.

-Wellness TV will focus on aiding the inmate in developing and maintaining positive health-centric habits. Inmates can learn the factors that affect wellness of mind and body. Cognitive behavioral therapy content is coupled with nutrition and exercise to emphasize total and complete wellness.

-Education TV provides tailored programming to help inmates meet their educational goals or pique their interests in many different subjects. Programs will aid inmates in areas of their current educational needs including: mathematics, social studies, English, history, geography, government, visual and performing arts, and much more.

 -Employment TV offers powerful programming designed to help inmates develop employable skills, including job finding, interviewing, resume building skills and financial literacy.

An IPTVI programming guide, which will outline the programming schedules for these four channels, is currently in development.

The remaining two IPTVI channels will be managed at the local level, in addition to the already existing channels managed by each institution.

The excitement surrounding this project stems from both what IPTVI will be at installation, but also, what it can become in the near future. The moment IPTVI goes live, all institutions will have access to the vast media library and be provided 24/7 scheduled programming on the four branded channels. IPTVI will also provide the opportunity for local television specialists and teachers to produce their own content. Staff at each institution will be able to record their content and broadcast them at a later date and time with a focused concentration on the specific needs of inmates at their facility.

Director Choate envisions a day when credit-bearing courses will be entirely available through IPTVI.

The IPTVI project is bringing CDCR communication to the forefront of the technological world and will set the foundation for more exciting future innovations.

DRP encourages all staff, stakeholders and even the public to submit media content for review which they feel may enrich and enhance the IPTVI channels and contribute to the rehabilitative process.

For more information, or to submit content, please contact Franklin Harrison at Franklin.Harrison@cdcr.ca.gov.