Inmates at state correctional facilities are permitted to purchase and use tablets while incarcerated. ViaPath Technologies is the company used for making tablet purchases,
NOT the Department of Corrections (DOC).
Friends and family members who have questions about inmate tablets may contact the ViaPath Technologies Friends and Family Customer Service phone line at 1.877.650.4249.
Tablets 2.0 DOC Information Bulletin to Inmates (10.19.17)
Tablets 2.0 Frequently Asked Questions
Ordering a Tablet
ONLY be ordered by an inmate through the DOC commissary system. The commissary bubble item is #94931. The cost of a tablet is $147 plus tax. The delivery time is 7-10 days from receipt of the order by ViaPath Technologies.
Family members and friends can send the $147 plus tax to the inmate in order for him/her to purchase the tablet through the commissary system. Using the JPay account system is required to do so.
All tablet orders include: the tablet, charger, tablet protector and battery.
Tablets have a limited warranty and only cover manufacture defects. The tablet, charger and protector carry a 1-year warranty. The battery has a 90-day warranty. The warranty information is found in the Terms and Conditions on your tablet, the ViaPath Technologies website under End User Licensing Agreement for friends and family, as well as the Kiosk.
Tablets do not have WiFi, photo, or any office suite. This specific tablet is approved by the DOC and is only loaded with DOC-approved applications.
Tablets have a password assigned to them. Inmates are required to create additional security questions to maintain their privacy.
Tablets come equipped with a mortality timer that requires the device to be synced to the Kiosk for an update every 30 days or the tablet will lock.
Inmates are able to use these features:
- Email two way communication between inmate and family and friends [Inmates must sign up for an email account by using
- Music: over 3,000,000 available songs
- Games: 45 pre-approved games
- Lobby Kiosk: adds funds to the inmate’s trust account
- eBooks: 8,500+
Ordering Link Units
A link unit is the equivalent of a penny (.01 cents). Inmates may purchase link units in increments of $5 through the commissary system using commissary bubble number #94936. Link units are used to purchase songs, email messages and games as well as any other item approved in the future by the DOC.
Link units are available 48 hours after purchase when the commissary order has been submitted by the PA DOC to ViaPath Technologies. To update the balance, inmates must sync the tablet to the kiosk.
- Song purchase: $1.80 plus tax (180 link units plus tax)
- Send an email: email $0.25 (25 link units)
- Charger: $11.25 plus tax (Inmates must turn in the old charger to get a new one (Commissary #94942)
- Games: are different prices as indicated on the tablet
The battery has a 90-day warranty. Battery life depends on different factors. To get the most use out of your battery:
- Drain the battery completely to 0% before recharging it
- Charge the tablet for 8 hours when you first get it BEFORE you start using it
- When the tablet is charging, refrain from using the tablet device and turn it off
- Change the screen brightness to a lower level by clicking on the settings icon and moving the button further to the left side of the bar
- Listen to music in sleep mode. You can listen to music without the screen on. The battery should last about 4 hours. Batteries past the 90-day warranty—or those not functioning after all of the above steps have been done—should be reported by the inmate to ViaPath Technologies. Submit a ViaPath Technologies Support Link ticket on the Kiosk system.
Common Tablet Issues
Turning on the Tablet: Hold the power button on the left side of the tablet for 20-30 seconds. If the tablet has a battery charge, it will power on. If your device does not power on, plug it into a charger before trying to turn it on again.
Delete Songs from the Tablet: The function to delete songs from the tablet does not exist until the tablet is 80% full on the hard drive. Go to the Media Library when the table is 80% full to remove songs.
Mortality Timer: Inmates are required to sync the tablet to a kiosk every 30 days to make sure the tablet is fully up-to-date with the latest software updates or lockouts as dictated by PA DOC Security. If the mortality timer expires, you must sync it to a kiosk to unlock it.
Contact ViaPath Technologies for Tablet Support
The ViaPath Technologies Friends and Family Customer Service phone line is: 1.877.650.4249
ViaPath Technologies can assist you with the following questions:
- Submit money through the Kiosk system
- Sign up for an account with ViaPath Technologies
- How to work with the connect network
- Get information about emails friends/family have sent
ViaPath Technologies cannot provide this information through ViaPath Technologies Friends and Family Customer Service:
- Tablet issues
- Repairs to inmate tablets
- Information related to inmate emails
- Inmate refunds
Using Tablets After Release from DOC
After an inmate is released from prison, the tablet remains with the person. After the individual is home, they must send the tablet to ViaPath Technologies to have the mortality timer removed so it does not lock and prevent use. ViaPath Technologies will also load the software for WiFi and camera functions.