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Lawyer Shared A Story Of Her Client Struggling To Catch Up With Modern Technology

After 30 Years In Prison

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Modernity, at its core, reflects what is contemporary in our everyday life. This term is always fluctuating, as there was a time when the wheel was considered the height of achievement

and planes were an unholy technical abomination. But opinions evolve with the times and modern technology is what drives societies forward—just a few decades ago, no one had dreamed of smartphones, and now we can’t leave home without them. The understanding of technology often comes gradually to us, since we live surrounded by it and when something new comes along, we have a firm foundation to stand and rely upon. But what happens when this foundation is taken from us and we are thrown right into the melting pot of technology we don’t understand and systems that no longer remember what paper documents are?

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More info: twitter.com

A Twitter thread sheds some light on how unprepared former inmates are to rejoin society

Image credits: Sara (not the actual photo)

Human rights lawyer reveals her client, who spent 30 years in prison, struggles with technology

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

Human rights lawyer Maria Burnett has a client who was released from prison after serving a 30-year sentence. After so long, it’s natural that he would have plenty of things to get used to anew, but it goes a bit deeper than that. Burnett said he was reluctant to admit he had no idea how to access the crucial documents or services he needed because they all revolved around the use of digital space.

She taught him how to use a laptop and explained different technology-related terms

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

 

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

“I got him a laptop and we spent a day this weekend going over everything, the difference between cell service and wifi, between texts and email, where to find which thing on a phone vs on a laptop,” said Burnett. The man spent decades outside of the technology-driven world, so it’s understandable he might be a bit behind. But the absolute lack of any information or training for people who have basically entered a whole new age with outdated knowledge can be detrimental.

The lawyer stated that society has unrealistic expectations that he would already know all this stuff

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

According to her, even DC social services offices automatically assumed he would know how to file online forms, send emails, scan documents, and use other services in the digital space. She admitted that even she herself didn’t think about her client being out of touch with technology, since we all naturally use it in our everyday lives with no trouble.

It took a lot of effort for the client to get the hang of modern technology

Image credits: _MariaBurnett

While prisoners have some form of email system, Corrlinks, it’s designed and run specifically for inmates to contact the outside world. When the client became a free man, three decades were quick to catch up to him, with no assistance set up by the government to help him adjust. He needed to learn everything from scratch, and with some help and determination, he got a firm grasp on at least some fundamentals, which is especially important in today’s climate, when most of the world has moved its services to a digital space.

This sparked a discussion about the need to increase inmates’ technological literacy

 

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