The Kansas State Department of Corrections strives to lead its justice-involved population to safe and productive reintegration. Sass and team saw the Zoom platform as the perfect solution to help them accomplish exactly that.
“Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone allowed for resident professional development opportunities for inmates, including advanced data science roles for those in the Topeka Women’s Prison,” Sass stated. In these instances, residents were able to work alongside the Kansas State Department of Corrections staff in a remote work context. “They communicated during their work shifts with the same type of professional environment as their department colleagues, only located within the structure of their residential facility,” he added.
Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars also allowed the Kansas State Department of Corrections to expand its offering of job skills training programs, resident career fairs, and other educational programs. “The Zoom interface helped residents feel a greater sense of professionalism,” Sass noted.
Sass felt strongly that his department’s work for constructive resident culture must “prioritize familial, social, and health-oriented scenarios.” Leveraging CARES Act funding, he deployed over 60 Zoom Rooms to create learning spaces and help foster digital connections. Zoom Rooms allowed mothers to see their children more frequently, even as in-person visits had to be stopped. The team also used Zoom Rooms to support remote substance abuse treatment, create cross-facility resident communities of interest, and sustain telemedicine through a partnership with Centurion Health.