John Dowdell, director of AU's Gill Center Outreach, has been interviewed by Wall Street Journal, CNN, BuzzFeed and a couple of TV stations regarding the university’s partnership with JPay’s Lantern tablet education program, which has led to the enrolling of inmates over two semesters in Chillicothe, Grafton, Richland, Lake Erie, Mansfield, Correctional Camp and Ohio Department of Youth Service institutions. Inmates who enroll in the education program are issued JPay’s 10-inch secure JP5 tablets by the university (the tablets can also be purchased by inmates’ families through JPay).
Dowdell has consulted with JPay for two years now in the development of the educational tablet (JP5) and secure learning management system (Lantern) that they are now releasing to the correctional market. It is a corrections grade, cloud-based internet solution for education that utilizes kiosks and secure cloud network to deliver educational content to inmates.
“We have piloted the JP5/Lantern in AU programs and have expanded our reach and delivery using it. We will begin teaching AU courses in two Louisiana correctional facitlities during Spring Semester 2016 using the network,” Dowdell said. “We also structured our response to the U.S. Department of Education ESI for Incarcerated Pell Grants to include an online Associate of Arts degree.”
Dowdell, who runs the correctional education program at AU, also serves as co-editor of The Journal of Correctional Education. AU's program is the oldest postsecondary correctional program in the U.S.