Mass incarceration impacts millions of Americans and its toll on families and communities of color is exacerbated by the digital exclusion of people in prison. When the digital divide is the prison wall, there are special challenges in conducting research that might inform effective interventions. Nonetheless, highlighting existing research and the opportunities for advancing digital inclusion at this critical moment has the potential to unlock opportunity for people in prison nationwide. 

At a session at the Digital Inclusion Research Forum, hosted by the Dallas Federal Reserve, Ithaka S+R’s Kurtis Tanaka will first provide context for understanding the challenges and complexities of conducting digital equity and inclusion research in carceral settings. The session will cover the challenges of gaining access to prison facilities, the role of the Department of Corrections in exercising oversight of research conducted in their facilities, and the idiosyncrasies of the American correctional system that limit the broad application of research findings within and across state systems. The event will also highlight key findings from the Ithaka S+R Survey of Technology in Higher Education in Prisons, to be published in September. Learn more about the session, on October 12, 2023 at 4:00 pm.