Securus Technologies, a company based in Texas, has made many recent advances. The over 30-year-old company has recently purchased GovPayNet. This company is over 20 years old, and, like Securus, specializes in corrections. GovPayNet processes payments for governmental agencies as well. Cash bail payments, traffic citations, child support payments, and court costs are just a few examples. If you’re unfamiliar with Securus Technologies, the company provides support services, such as monitoring and software for correctional facility management. For its external customers, it provides communication options for inmates and their loved ones. Among the popular services are, calling plans, messaging, voicemail, email and even video visitation. Recently, Securus has worked hard to bring the cost of staying in touch down and has been successful.
The acquisition of GovPayNet is shortly after JPay, another financial services company, joined the team. They’re excited to work together, as they believe it will lead to much faster advancements in technology. JPay has recently started a program to make tablets available to inmates for purchase. The tablets offer educational software and limited entertainment. This helps inmates who are soon returning to the workforce, once they’re released. Another technology that’s in the testing stages is wireless containment systems. This technology blocks cell communications from contraband devices. Some are so passionate about this technology, and the safety that it will bring; they’ve been lobbying to have legislation passed to make the technology mandatory in all facilities. While no official numbers have been released, there have been reports of over a billion communications attempted as successfully blocked.
Securus Technologies also recently gained accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with an “A+” rating. Due to the improved technology and lower costs, customers have responded favorably. Over 95 percent have reported satisfaction with the service they’ve received. With the new advancements coming at a rapid pace, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on Securus Technologies to see what happens next.
The longer that I work as a guard in a correctional facility, the more challenging it has become to keep everyone safe. Despite the inmates having a problem with authority and lashing out at me and my team, we are trying to make sure they simply do their court-appointed time. In addition to making sure they are safe, we need to ensure that officers, visitors, and workers inside this facility are afforded that same treatment. With our jail at capacity, inmates tend to be more violent and will lash out at the slightest issue.
Over the years we have tried a number of ways to keep violence to a minimum, but those days of increasing patrols or putting up a stronger police presence are over. It was clear to officers that we needed help, we just didn’t realize how instrumental Securus Technologies was going to be in that effort. Securus Technologies has created a way where correctional officers can get out from the crowded call centers and back on the grounds while the calls inmates are making are monitored even more precisely.
Securus Technologies created a software-driven inmate telephone monitoring system, and the way it works is really impressive. The LBS software scans every second of calls made from jail phones, and if any chatter pertaining to things like violence, drugs, or weapons, is picked up, officers get the alert and take action fast. Rather than waiting for trouble and taking action, officers are now in the position to be able to get ahead of trouble which in turn keeps the entire facility safer.
If inmates are planning a fight, looking to acquire drugs, or doing things in their cells and bragging about it on the phones, officers can clean up these issues and make this facility all the more safer.
My job as a corrections officer is one in which you have to be on your toes every second of every day or you will get hurt. Not only do the inmates outnumber the guards in our prison 4:1, there are a number of inmates in for life who would love a chance to hurt an officer. While the inmates are plotting 24-hours a day, we only are in the jail 12 hours maximum a day, and not everyday either. If I were to let my guard down for even a minute, these inmates who do not care about the consequences could be all over us in the blink of an eye and really make things bad for me or my team.
To help maintain safety in the jail, my team has to always be working to keep any type of contraband from the hands of the inmates. This process starts each day when we carefully check each person coming into the jail to visit with inmates. The visitors know that can not bring anything into our jail, but these inmates have been known to make deadly weapons with things like pens, plastic spoons, and even tooth brushes. We have to watch very closely every second or an inmate can get the advantage and harm my team. Even when visitors are warned to not being anything to the jail or to try and pass it to the inmates, you have situations where they don’t listen to us.
When Securus Technologies installed a new inmate call system in our prison, at first we thought it was just an upgrade to a system we have used in the past to monitor the inmates talking on the phone. We trust this company and CEO Rick Smith, because all of his 1,000 employees are committed to making this world a safer place. We were not aware how instrumental the new system and LBS software would be in our quest to make the prison safe for everyone. This new monitoring system was going to do the work of several officers, and that means we can focus our efforts on other areas while the call system does its job.
Once the phone system was up and running, it detected numerous conversations between inmates on the phone talking about getting together with a visitor to gather illegal cellphones, doing drugs in cells, and even selling prescription drugs to make money for the commissary. These are things we know are happening, but with such a huge population in the jail, can be difficult to pinpoint. Now we not only had a face to put to the crimes, we knew when and where these incidents were taking place too.