Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that immerses users in an imagined or replicated world or simulates presence in the real world. These experiences can take the form of videogames and simulations, and opportunities to use this technology are growing. One agency is testing the use of VR for in-custody incarcerated individuals as an incentive and to reduce anxiety.
Moving from one housing unit to another or from one prison to another can be stressful, and both are associated with misbehaviors as incarcerated individuals externalize their unease. In order to reduce these misbehaviors, incarcerated individuals moving from one facility to another will have the opportunity to "visit" their new home using VR. Plans are also being made to provide incarcerated individuals with recordings of local environments before release so that they are more comfortable and familiar with the community that they will be joining. VR can also serve as an incentive; incarcerated individuals can earn VR time and use it to visit an amusement park, the beach, or other desirable locations.