Not too long ago prisons and jails across the country had the freedom to set rates on phone calls and other communication between inmates and the outside world. Some claimed this to be an egregious attack on typically financially poorer families who were unable to visit their incarcerated loved ones.
The FCC, or Federal Communication Commission began to investigate the claims raised by those families affected by the increasingly hiked rates governed by federal prisons and jails. The FCC found the inmates typically could only make collect calls, which meant their families or loved ones had to cover the costs. Since the prisons were left unchecked on who they used as a carrier, this left those footing the bill with a very hefty bill.
In August of 2016, the FCC made their most recent action in a step to limit the rise of inmate calls. They set a rate cap on inmate calls that should substantially decrease how much those calls cost.
Communication companies such as Securus Technologies and Legacy Inmate Communication have stated that they feel the FCC has overstepped its bounds and limited the free market. Those companies will feel the impact levied by the FCC. Their response has been vocally pointed toward history that the FCC has never intervened in communication processes such as this, and in this case, the FCC does not have the authority to intervene.
With the new rate cap set in August of 2016, inmates can expect to see more reasonable costs associated when calling friends and families. With the rate cap enacted, phone calls can be made without exceeding the cap. With the oversight of the FCC toward federal communications, local states still have the right to oversee intrastate calls. Though the FCC has made a step in the right direction, not all inmates will be immune to high priced calls.
Poor Inmate communications have been an ongoing debate for most correction centers. Effective communication is vital not only for inmates but also the families affected and the officers. Monitoring communications is one way of controlling and reducing crime rates in the correction facilities. It is, therefore, important that facilities have exclusive control of the incoming and outgoing calls, both video call visits and audio records. Every government plays a significant role in ensuring that family and friends enjoy a range of inmate communication options.
Most recently, the United States Patent Office announced an additional five patent grant to Securus Technologies. These new patents are supposed to help in operation from August 2016 to October 2016. Securus Technologies is a leading company in providing criminal and civil justice technology resolutions. For the past three years, Securus has filed for almost 90 new Patents with 36 of the total being granted. The addition of these new five is a big win for this company in its endeavors of trying to create effective inmate communication. Most of the operations that are guaranteed include video calling, audio calling, inmate billing, voice biometrics, inmate monitoring among many others.
Richard A. Smith, CEO of Securus Technologies, assured effective strategies in enabling that all clients are satisfied. With a company that has more than 248 patents in its portfolio, effective correction communications and operations is a top priority. In the recent release, the government demonstrated its concern to tighten the security in correction centers and promised to corporate with leading communication security providers such as Securus technologies. The recently issued grant was just a beginning of the expected long-term corporation.
According to this online news piece, the state prison outside of Jackson has successfully, recently, and fully executed a Mr. Gregory Paul Lawler….who was sixty three years old.
We can see that:
“Lawler was convicted in 2000 of the murder of Atlanta Police Officer John Sowa. Lawler fired on both Sowa and his partner, Officer Patricia Cocciolone, as the officers escorted Lawler’s girlfriend home after a night of drinking. Lawler was convicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder….” (pg. 1, paragraph 1)
There truly is, as they say, no rest for the wicked. Yet who are we to judge in the end? It is not in our hands…..but both fate and time do tell all, and reveal the worst or best in a person.
The UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT has fully summarized the case, and has like wise analyzed the fact that the crime took place in Atlanta, Georgia….and near an apartment there, to be exact. It makes sense. Mr. Lawler was himself from this respected city.
Lawler took over a dozen shots out of his gun. There was a six hour standoff with Lawler and the police. A hostage negotiator was successful in getting Lawler to back down and surrender himself, making something which could have been far worse….far better and more easy to deal with. Justice was found, but the waiting and processing time would not be so quick. As we can see from this specific case, many details were involved…and Lawler remained in prison until his ultimate death.
Securus Technologies announced that they have been granted new patents and more to come in the upcoming months. 36 patents have been granted and 90 new applications have been filed over the last 3 years. This new patents showed Securus Tech’s continued commitment to quality technology in the inmate processing and communication field.
Rick Smith says the five new patents granted since October 2016 brings their total number of patents to 248. They have 248 innovative and unique ideas that the government has granted them sole ownership. Some of the patents include: controlled advertisement program that controls what ads play on an inmates tablet and infrared image and/or videos in a controlled environment.
Rick Smith is proud of their large development team. 200 software developers, large research and development department, and 100 field service techs that develop innovative and cutting edge ideas to help connect inmates and their families. Securus holds a wide range of patents. Fraud detection, call platform architecture, call storage, and inmate purchasing just to name a few. They constantly strive to create top notch quality products.
Securus Tech is a Dallas headquartered company that works towards bringing inmates together with their families and helping the facilities. They hold an A+ rating from the BBB for the top notch customer service and quality products.
Families of Hampden County, Massachusetts inmates don’t have to strain their budgets anymore to stay in contact with their loved ones, thanks to the FCC. A 15 minute call used to cost $17, now inmates can talk for 30 minutes for only $3.60. GlobalTel Link, the inmate telephone service provider, was paying the jail a 74 percent commission on the cost of each call, which amounted to approximately $89,000 per month in the jail’s coffers according to an article posted on MassLive.com.
Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr., who runs the jail, was not happy with the FCC’s ruling; he even went so far as to threaten to eliminate the inmate’s telephone service. Responding to a MassLive inquiry, the communications officer for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department said that it costs the department $165,487 per year in administrative costs to maintain telephone services for inmates and the remainder of the money from commissions is used to fund various programs for inmates. Critics, however, cite the bloated Hamden County Sheriff’s Department large, 27-person administrative staff, each of whom earns a six-figure salary, as the reason the Sheriff needed the commissions from GlobalTel Link.
Inmates still have access to telephones to contact their families, however, there is no word yet if the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department will maintain the programs that that were funded by the high commissions.
More and more prisons are turning to video visitation as a way to minimize physical contact with visiting population. While this may relieve some of the stress from prison officials, but it causes a lot of controversy between inmates and inmate families. Many inmates thrive on the ability to have physical contact with their family and enjoy a friendly face to face visit. Unfortunately, many families are putting a stop to this, which is causing quite a bit of tension and confusion.
Even the staff in these facilities are conflicted about whether or not removing contact visits would be beneficial to the facility, but what will it cause when it comes to inmate behavior?
Here are what staff members and other power that be think about the changes.
The Positive Effects of Physical Contact Visits
Contact with family is essential to the rehabilitation process. This is the only physical contact inmates have with other people and it can be extremely beneficial to the human psyche. Many prison officials openly state that no contact visits do not decrease the likelihood of contraband entering the prison. Prisoners still find a way to smuggle drugs in. Removing contact visits creates more stress and increases the likelihood that prisoners will find another method of smuggling in larger amounts of drugs.
Many prison officials are taking the side of keeping contact visits, but increasing security and after visit searches to ensure there is no contraband smuggled in.
Other security personnel feels that screening and checking visitors better will be a more beneficial way to handle the contraband issue. This is because inmates look forward to visitation, which causes them to have better behavior when they are walking on the compound.
Allowing face to face inmate visitations greatly reduces the violence inside of prison walls. Many security officials believe that removing face to face visitations will increase the number of violent acts inside of prisons, as well as an increase in inmate physical attacks leading to death.
While reducing face to face visitations may reduce visitor to inmate contribution transmission, while others feel that the violence inside of prisons will increase dramatically.
Securus, one of the United States leading inmate communications company, now has more than 104,000 smart units in service at various prisons. The number is quite impressive since the smart units are still in their infancy, but it goes to show that those involved with progress can really move forward at an accelerated rate.
The units are not only there to help the inmates make calls or receive them, though that is a big part of their function. The communication unit holds tablets, video kiosks, booking software, and what the company is calling an ‘S-Phone,’ which is nothing more than a smartphone. These tools are meant to function much like anyone would expect them to once one hears what they are, but there are some major differences. For one, each one of these tools are encrypted with technology that allows the company to give prisons power to monitor. Of course, it does not mean that communications are spied upon but rather monitored by algorithms looking for certain keywords that might signal criminal activity. This is just one security measure, though there are others.
Of course, security was not the only thing that Securus was attempting to provide inmates and their family. The goal is to give inmates and their families an opportunity to really connect in a way that was not possible before. Inmates can now share videos of special moments like a ballet recital or a birthday. They would have missed these moments if they did not have these technologies available to them.
The cost of communication should decrease somewhat since it is a lot easier for Securus to provide the service to prisons. It may be possible for family members to visit the inmate through a smart device without even leaving home. This means that they do not have to drive or take a bus all the way to the jail just to see their loved ones. Securus is really changing the culture within the industry in a positive way, and there is probably more to come.
Inmate communications is very important because it gives the correctional facility monitoring and surveillance over inmate calls and quality telephone communications to inmates. A phone call can determine an inmates needs being met or staying in touch with their legal counsel. However, traditional calls can be very expensive and provide low quality services. Global Tel-Link is committed to an excellency in customer service satisfaction. Each year Global Tel-Link is responsible for handling millions of calls for thousands of customers. Customers can rest assured they will get every minute that they’ve paid for. Advanced technology features gives you cheaper phone calls for inmate communications.
Inmate Prepaid Services
Inmates can now purchase prepaid phone services through commissary. For a small processing fee and a one time payment inmates can get set prepaid calling intervals that work with landline and cellphone devices. Calls are clear and come in the form of traditional packages that are affordable for an inmate budget. If an inmate is released before all of his phone time is used they can have $5.00 deducted for a processing fee and have the remaining balanced refunded back to them.
These services also work for their families. They receive one complimentary call at which time they are prompted to create an Advance Pay account that allows prepaid services. For a small time fee and a minimum of $25.00 you can get the calling services that you need. Global Tel-Link has teamed up with JPay to offer even more features at an affordable rate. Together they are committed to excellency in inmate communications. In a recent online article Securus has continued to praise Global Tel-Link for superior high quality inmate correctional facility communications. Thousands of inmates and families continue to rely on Global Tel-Link each year for quality inmate telephone services.
With the inmate population in America rapidly increasing each year, this means millions of families are separated for both short and extended periods of time from their loved ones. Due to issues of transportation, finances, and time, many families are not able to make regular prison visits and are therefore devoid of face-to-face meetings with their spouse, parent, relative, or friend who is incarcerated. You may wonder how these families are able to keep in touch without visitation, and this is where a company such as IC Solutions comes into play.
Keeping Families Connected
IC Solutions.com specializes in providing inmate telephone services at facilities across the nation, allowing incarcerated individuals to stay in touch with family, friends, and loved ones. The company had many different methods for communication, including long term phone plans, voice messaging, and even real time video chat. For families with incarcerated loved ones, a company such as IC Solutions is incredibly vital to keeping the lines of communication open.
How It Works
IC Solutions operates by partnering with facilities to provide phone services for inmates. This allows inmates many options for making calls from the facility. Inmates can connect with loved ones through collect calls which are billed to their family’s regular telephone bill, through prepaid accounts which allow for monthly deposits to cover all calls made, or debit accounts hooked up to the family’s checking account from which call charges will be taken.
Other serves provided include inmate voicemail, kiosks for inmates to make payments in a secure fashion, web-based deposit services, flexible calling options, 24-hour customer service, and real-time video chat for facilities that allow this option.
With millions of Americans currently incarcerated in institutions across the country, companies such as IC Solutions that provide inmate calling services serve as an important link in keeping families together.
IC Solutions is one of the leading inmate communications company. IC Solutions provides products and services that are designed to help you stay in contact with your family members and loved ones. They provide many options to ensure that you’re getting the proper services you need to best communicate in an effective way. IC Solutions holds a partnership with Access Corrections which allows inmates and loved ones to stay in contact through emails and photos. They use an MP3 program and can also deposit funds into an account securely and safely. IC Solutions strives to continue the communication lines between parties and their goal is to continue to help everyone stay in contact with convenience.
Some of the more specific products according to SJR that are offer are Debit Telephone Accounts, Prepaid Accounts, Collect Calling, Voicemail Messaging, Video Visitation, Secure Mail & Secure Photo and Secure Deposits. It’s free and easy to set up a debit telephone account and provides a more convenient way for you to keep in contact with incarcerated individuals. It’s a prepaid phone services that allows phone calls to be made at any time and offers three different ways to purchase a debit telephone account. They can be purchased online, by phone or mail. Collect calling is a more traditional way of making contact with the understanding that once the call is accepted, it will be billed to your phone carrier bill. If you elect to have a prepaid account service, you will have the ability to leave voice mails at any time for inmates. The voicemail services allow you to leave a detailed message at any time of the day and not worry about missing a phone call. It’s a convenient way to communicate. Video visitation, secure mail and phone along with secure deposits are also a great way to take advantage of the solutions made possible through IC Solutions. They understand how important it is to stay in contact with your loved ones, and continue to provide exceptional services for the community.