Pennsylvania Inmates Receive VR Training Prior to Society Reintegration

Finding use cases for virtual reality technology is not all that difficult these days. In fact, it almost seems as if a lot of new use cases tend to appear out of the blue. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections wants to use VR as a way to reintegrate inmates to real life.

VR and Inmate Reintegration

If there is one proper use case for VR technology, it has to be found in the prison industry. More specifically, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is concerned over the growing number of juvenile lifers. Anyone sentenced to life without parole at the age of 18 or sooner is pretty troublesome. A 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court removed a lot of concerns, as such sentences for juveniles are now no longer possible. However, those who were sentenced prior to this date still need to find their way back into our society.

That is much easier said than done. Most of the juveniles did not even remotely consider their future life as part of everyday society, as they had no hope of ever walking out of a prison again. That has now come to change, although there are still some issues to take into account. More specifically, training these individuals to find their way into our everyday society again will be difficult. As such, the Department of Corrections is now working with VR programs to make the transition a bit smoother.

This is done with the help of VR company Nesna. This company has been filming 360-degree videos of halfway houses to help inmates adjust to their upcoming lifestyle. So far, the overall responses have been rather positive, although there is still room for future improvements as well. Changing the behavior of these inmates will not happen overnight, but this is a rather positive trend overall.

Whether or not VR will make a positive impact in this regard, remains to be determined. Some industry experts are still skeptical about the use of VR in this regard. VR will not address any issues caused during the time these juveniles were originally incarcerated, as a lot of damage has been done at that point in time. Even so, the introduction of newer technologies is a positive development overall, albeit far from a perfect solution.

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