Inmates in New York State prisons will soon have access to tablet computers. 

The state Department of Corrections says about 51,000 inmates will be eligible to receive free tablets to communicate with family and assist in their education while behind bars. 

Officials say tablets will be provided by a Miami-based company at no cost to taxpayers. 

Inmates will not have access to the Internet but will be able to purchase music and e-books. 

Inmates will also be able to file complaints and report any misconduct. 

The corrections officers' union says it will monitor the program to ensure it does not cmpromise the safety of prison staff. 

The program is expected to roll out later this year.