Prison News

Does Securus have the solution for future Inmate Communications?

With the changing scene of communications in the outside world, it is inevitable that it would also eventually revolutionize inside the prison and inmate community. Securus Technologies CEO and Chairman, Rick Smith claims that their company can set up secure, controlled communications within prison facilities that can use customized devices, or even the inmate’s own devices. This will increase the ability for inmates to communicate with their defense team or family. It will allow for more training and educational opportunities while incarcerated. The devices can be locked so that they are only allowed to communicate with approved individuals or organizations through approved methods, including picture, video, text messaging, and emails.

 

They use a Wireless Containment Solution, or WCS, that controls and monitors all communications from the inmate’s device. Allowing them their own device gives them access to their own contact list and information databases. They can have controlled access to job websites, educational systems, and other web-based opportunities for skill and knowledge growth. Arguably, this would reduce recidivism and promote employment post-incarceration. It also increases their ability to manage their own health care. Law-libraries, visitation rules, forms, and facility rules could literally be at the fingertips of every inmate.

 

Here’s the article where I read this fascinating information:

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/securus-technologies-discusses-future-of-inmate-communications-and-security-300427232.html

 

COMMUNICATION ENDS FOR 1997 PRISONER.

It appears that a convicted 1997 murderer has finally been executed just a few days ago. Hit the jump for more. (http://www.jacksonprogress-argus.com/news/local/georgia-inmate-executed-for-police-officer-killing/article_c4ef04c1-de3c-5b2e-a232-e66764e3d303.html)

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.

 

Do inmates have a right to cheap phone calls?

The widespread availability of phone services for prison inmates across the country has some groups asking if inmates have a right to a reasonable phone rate. With typically few opportunities to produce any income while incarcerated, inmates often turn to their families to top up their commissary and calling card accounts in order to stay in touch with them. Critics of the current system point to this as being a highly regressive tax on the families of inmates. These innocent family members end up footing the sometimes exorbitant bill just so that they can maintain some semblance of a normal relationship with their incarcerated loved ones.

 

It’s easy to empathize with the families’ plight. If a family with children, living below the poverty line, ends up paying hundreds of dollars per month for the ability to keep the children’s father in their lives, then they are often faced with the decision between paying the cable or utility bill and maintaining contact with their loved one. Regardless of any abstract moral arguments, this is the cold reality that many families face.

 

 

The courts respond

 

Unfortunately for these families, the courts have ruled again and again that inmates have no right to place phone calls from prison. In fact, inmates have no right to even see their families, in any capacity. This reflects the hard realities of prison life. If you’ve earned your stay at a state prison, you’ve done something monumentally contrary to the interests of society.

 

 

Despite critics, system of legal calling kickbacks has merits

Prisoners’ rights groups have complained, at one time or another, about just about every aspect of the U.S. prison system. Wardens, administrators and sheriffs walk a fine line between running orderly, safe institutions and maintaining the fundamental rights of prisoners. But the truth is that those who manage prisons, often elected officials, serve the local residents of their communities first and prisoners and their families a distant second. While many of the critics of U.S. prisons and jails voice their concerns loudly, polls consistently show that a large, silent majority of U.S. citizens value law and order above just about any other concern and want to keep the prison system operating more or less how it traditionally has.

 

 

Inmate calling, price gouging or valuable privilege?

 

One case in point is the contentious issue of inmate calling in prisons and jails. For example, in the state of Louisiana, the state itself takes 71 percent of all revenues generated from inmate calling. The parish jails take between 34 and 87 percent. This has the predictable consequence of raising the rates that inmates pay.

 

Yet the average cost of a phone call in that state is still only about $.15 per minute, a rate comparable with long distance charges on the outside. These rates are historically low by comparison. But another aspect of this debate is that the U.S. courts have ruled again and again that inmates have no right to make phone calls. Thus inmate telephone use itself is best viewed as a privilege, not some form of human right subject to violation.

 

 

Communicating With Prisoners Is Very Expensive

Prison inmates have the same basic needs as those on the outside. They require food, shelter, medical attention and a way to communicate. Their daily lives are governed by the authorities of the facilities they reside in. The common advantages of life are rationed out to those who are incarcerated. These privileges become very valuable because of the marginal access. Communicating with the outside world is one of the most cherished items that an inmate has. They need this privilege for various reasons. Some are working on their legal situation. They may have recently arrived to jail and want to get out as soon as they can. Others are in for a long stay. They use prison communication as a means to remain in contact with loved ones on the outside. It keeps up their morale and reminds them of why they never want to be in the same situation again. Inmate communication companies have taken full advantage of the opportunity to provide these rare services to prison inmates. They charge a healthy price for their product. They are in a unique situation because their clients do not have the ability to select competition. This means that the service providers are able to set the price for the products at any rate they choose.
Inmate communication providers offer several different plans to their customers. The most common plan is direct debit. Consumers are able to set up an account with the service provider. Charges are deducted from their account as usage builds up. It is a very expensive program. The rates are astronomical compared to regular phone service.
Monthly plans are also available. Lawyers and bail bondsman prefer this method. They conduct regular business with people on the inside. A plan such as this saves them tremendous amounts of money.

Legacy Icon offers new inmate communications console

Prison administrators looking for new video visitation options for inmates that comes with all of the technical bells and whistles they need should consider consider using the Legacy Icon inmate communications platform. According to Correctional News, Legacy Icon developed a platform that further improves video visitation security and lets prison officials track the income the prison receives from commissions. The new platform allows for video visitation services, according to Correctional News.
The Legacy Icon platform has recording features that are comparable to its competitors. Legacy’s system allows the correctional institution to record inmate visitations to scan for illegal activity, and it includes other features that help reduce fraud. As with all video visitation systems, it will reduce staff and administrative overhead.

The Legacy Icon software system comes with software accounting tools that allow prison administrative officials to keep track of the commissions they receive from the system. Legacy gives prisons competitive commission rates, and offers the families of inmates reasonable prices for their services.

Legacy’s Icon system may require revamping older communications systems. The service also offers Voice over Internet Protocol services. Older correctional facilities may need to upgrade their plain old telephone service before upgrading to the video visitation systems. The inmate communications company also offers video arraignment services for jails and courtrooms.

Source:

Inmate Communications Platform

Improving Inmates Communication through Technology – Pay Tel

Communication is a vital tool in running our everyday life. Individuals in jails and prisons had a difficult time communicating with their friends and loved ones. Pay Tel Communication Company noticed the gap and established the firm to provide communication service to correctional institutions. Over the years technology has been growing new, and the communication industry has not been left behind. Pay Tel communication has also been going with the trend, and it no longer relies on yesterday’s technology nor does it use it to use the out-dated patent that does not exist in the current market.
Pay Tel has since its inception been expanding new and inventive solutions for the future of telecommunication industry and the future needs of correction facilities. Pay Tel is responsible and is dedicated to delivering the best services to inmates and the correctional institutions. Pay Tel provides; practical effective features has a dedicated team of developers, gives updates after every six months with no charges, and gives training for new web features.
Pay Tel Communication Company was established in 1986 and started operating the same year. It has been providing payphone services in the Southeastern United States. In 1989 Pay Tel noticed the communication gap that was in correctional facilities and the firm introduced inmate telephone services. Over time it grew and became a dominant telecommunication company that offered the services In the Southeast of U.S.
Pay Tel has experienced tremendous growth since it was founded, and its dedicated staff members endeavors to deliver unremitting innovations through their platforms which are known to offer faultless incorporation using the industries most investigative tools. Their primary mission is to provide ground-breaking solutions to the detention industry. Everyday they are committed to serving and give the best services to their clients dwelling on their company’s motto; promises gets customers performance keeps them. /www.paytel.com/about-paytel/business-ethics.

How Prison Phone Call Rates Are Going Up, Despite Caps Made By The FCC

Until last fall, families in the US have had to pay as much as $1 per minute to talk to their loved ones in prison. Seeing this rate as unjust, the Federal Communications Commission stepped in to regulate much of the prison calling industry. But despite this action, families were surprised to notice this June that their call rates have actually gone up since.

Before the FCC began regulating private prison calling firms, the high price of $1 a minute was largely due to monopoly contracts, revenue-sharing deals with local sheriffs, and little oversight. When the decision was made to lower these rates, rate caps were placed on interstate calls only. So in order to compensate for this loss in revenue, private firms like Securus Technologies raised their in-state calls by as much as 52%. For an example, at a jail in Holdenville Colorado, the price for a call went up from $4.03 to $5.75 in only 24 hours.

This change caused much disparity for the families of prisoners, many of which struggle to manage their own finances. Take 63-year-old Connie Pratt for an example. Her son is incarcerated in North California and suffers from severe anxiety. Connie’s regular calls with him help his mental health, but she’s worried that she might not be able to keep them up since, for the calls, she nows spends $200 a month of her $900 monthly disability check she receives as her only source of income.

Inmate advocacy groups have complained about this issue but have only been met with corporate reasonings like this one from Securus Technologies’ CEO Rick Smith: “the lower rates that were highly publicized never went into effect because the FCC failed to do their job and tried to set rates below our cost”.

Original Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/why-prison-phone-rates-keep-going-even-though-fcc-regulated-them-2388200

COME ON, DO BETTER!

Come on, Pennsylvania corrections facility….you can do better than that! Yes, they are human…as are we all. Yet in a major article released online just earlier this year, which by the way was entitled Pa. Corrections properly recording violence, but could do better: audit, it is obvious that more can be done here. The prison inmate industry is a very serious one, in which a slight tad slip up could cost lives and more.

Have a look. The article puts it in very plain terms. The case in point here is very obvious and easy to pick up, so to speak:
“While the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is properly recording reported inmate violence, the state’s chief watchdog said it must evaluate resources to prevent assaults and fights. On Thursday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released findings of a 15-month audit regarding how reports….” (http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/10/pa_corrections_properly_record.html, page 1 of paragraphs 1 and 2)

The stated goal and plan of the corrections secretary employee involved here has been to make inmates far less likely (in any ways possible, by any means achievable) to commit any sort of crime as they are released from the very prison systems. To do so may be quite a success and a challenge together. Yet, he believes that it can and must be done asap.

There are noted flaws within the used system of reporting. This, of course, affects auditors involved. As a result, the auditors can not quite see if all of the cases have been reported and acted upon…..which poses a serious problem, as you can imagine. They have some crimes in their record books; there may be more.

FCC Begins Oversight on Inmate Communications

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.