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Alaska has one of the highest recidivism rates in the country, with more than two-thirds of inmates who leave prison returning within three years. It’s an ongoing problem the Alaska Dept.

of Corrections has long sought to solve.  Now, the DOC is partnering with the University of Colorado to try something new — training inmates in the skills they’ll need to succeed in life outside of prison using virtual reality. A group of researchers from The University of Alaska and the University of Colorado has been testing the software with inmates around Alaska.  “All of the work with corrections in VR is really brand new and that’s why we’re really excited about this,” said Matt Vogl, executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus.

“We thought if we can make things work in Alaska then we can probably make them work just about anywhere.” Vogl describes the challenges in Alaska’s Dept.

of Corrections as 10 times that of other states. “Because of the great distances and the lack of availability of a workforce that’s here. Read more from…

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