Cell game: Novel software helping inmates find a home

Written by Michael Rubinkam/Associated Press | Oct 24, 2017 5:31 PM

(Undated) -- A university engineering department has developed what amounts to a Tinder app for criminals -- a computer program that matches inmates with suitable prisons.

The software is unique in the corrections field and has saved the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections about $3 million in its first year. It's also helped shorten wait times for treatment programs by nearly two months, resulted in fewer prison assaults, reduced the number of prison transfers and lightened the workload for corrections staff.

Major William Nicklow of the state corrections department says the results have been "amazing."

On Tuesday, the Lehigh University team that developed the software accepted the Wagner Prize, the top international prize in the field.

The researchers hope to apply their program to other state and federal corrections departments.

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