Prison Radio
Dontie Mitchell

“We Got Tablets.”

Yesterday, October 1st, we were issued free tablets by JPay, a company owned by Securus Technologies. I remember when the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision first announced in 2008 that prisoners in its corrections facilities were going to receive free tablets, there was an uproar. People were sensationalized in the move and typically not considering the facts.

People were upset because we prisoners were receiving quote, “free tablets,” end quote. What Securus Technology is doing isn’t an act of benevolence. It’s shrewd capitalism, and the state is going to benefit from tax revenue.

I’ve been using this free tablet, and it offers nothing. For me it’s a novelty because I’ve been in prison almost 23 years and never ever had the opportunity to have a tablet or a smartphone. But these JP [inaudible] don’t have wi-fi and we must pay for most of the products offered through JPay.

We already make slave wages and our families already have to pay other costs associated with our incarceration. So, who really benefits?

I’m not really mad though. These tablets would make it convenient for you, the audience, to share your questions and comments directly with me without having to mail a letter. Just go to and learn how. I look forward to receiving your questions and comments, which I hope to respond to in future commentaries.

This is Dontie S. Mitchell, better known as Mfalme Sikivu, reporting to you from Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York. Follow me on Facebook @freeDontieMitchell. Send your questions and comments to me via

Thank you for listening, and God bless.

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.