Prisoners use VR to prepare for life outside jail

  • VR is being used to train prisoners for technical jobs to prepare them for their career after release.
  • The application benefits both the jail and the prisoners, for saving money, space and time and reminding the prisoners of the outside world.
  • Virtual training helps hands-on practices and is believed to make a huge difference for the marginalised populations in the USA.

VR, a technology debuted for over a decade but often regarded as a relatively niche one, is being used to prepare prisoners for life after release. The ultimate goal is to reduce recidivism rates by ensuring prisoners have practical skills that can earn their own living once they’re released.

Tiffany Joseph Busch: a case of VR training in prison

Instead of being trained in a real garage to learn how to do an oil change, Tiffany Joseph Busch, a 36-year-old incarcerated woman, learned in a virtual one, using a Meta Quest virtual reality headset. For her, who expects to be released in June after being incarcerated on-and-off since age 19, the program will give her a vital head start in rebuilding her life outside of prison.

“This isn’t rocket science,” said Vehicles for Change President Martin Schwartz. “If they can get a job that’s going to pay $16 an hour, we can change the trajectory of that recidivism rate.”

Also read: Different types of Virtual Reality (VR) technology

Also read: 5 leaders in Virtual Reality (VR) technology

Advantages of the application

The application is beneficial for both the jail and the prisoners. For the former, it means saving money, space and time. Although the headsets cost nearly $500 each, they’re still more affordable than providing conventional, hands-on training programs. Besides, VR saves it from building classrooms and shortens the training period to a couple of weeks. As for the latter, it provides an opportunity for them to mentally leave prison.


Audrey Huang

Audrey Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave. She is interested in AI and startup stories. Send tips to

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