In the fall of 2015 The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) tried to put into act a form of rate caps on the price for incoming calls to inmates. The averaged rate per minute for a family member or loved one to call someone in prison is about a dollar a minute. Prison communications are outsourced to private firms. There are about 2.2 million inmates in America at any given time. Monopoly style contracts that cut deals with local sheriffs offices with little government involvement is what causes these inflated prices. In June of 2016, after a decrease in prices the previous fall, prices were on the rise again. Many family members or loved ones who are trying to call in to speak to inmates are on fixed incomes. The cost of the phone call can end up costing them the same as the cost of gas if they were able to drive in for a visit. Though the Federal communications commission was able to implement a rate cap on calls out of state, they have not implemented one for in state calling. In some cases it may be cheaper for an inmate to call a relative out of state. In state phone calls can be priced at any rate the communications provider and sheriffs deems appropriate. Securus Technologies is currently the largest inmate calling provider in the United States.
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:
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.
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.
Dallas-based Securus Technologies is proving to be the leader in inmate communications technology with its latest platform. The new VOIP protocol is taking the civil and justice industry by storm.
The technology, considered the largest in the world, is steadily breaking records with its audio and video call service. The prisons that use Securus, use the service exclusively. This saves time and money, and it also makes using the platform much easier. Stricter security is used with the VOIP service, and everyone making and receiving calls are subject to scrutiny.
The Securus system utilizes hundreds of applications, and any prison is equipped to use the platform. All individuals involved are pleased with the platform. Inmates say the VOIP helps them stay in contact with their loved ones. Due to security measures, all inmate calls, excluding the ones with their attorney, are kept on file for 10 years. This is a much-needed measure in the event a situation arises and records are needed.
The system is equipped with other safety measures including a monitoring system to report unauthorized use. It also provides automatic updates. Protocol breaches are also picked up by the system. The new and improved communications system has stopped a number of crimes.
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.
The U.S. patent office has issued two more patents to Securus Technologies, which is often dubbed as one of the most innovative firms in the prison communication industry. Interestingly, Securus Technologies has field more than 90 patents in the last three years. Of these, U.S. Patent office has approved 36 applications.
According to the CEO of Securus Technologies, Richard A. “Rick” Smith, the new patents will help the industry abridge communication gaps between inmates and their families. To date, Securus Technologies has nearly 247 patents related to prison communication, which makes it the holder of most number of patents in the industry. Both patents issued in June are multi-party tools allowing several users to use the system simultaneously.
Patent number 9,380,082 is titled, Remote Multi-Party and/or Event-Driven Visitation for Residents of Controlled Environment Facilities. As the name indicates, it allows inmates to participate in important events outside the prison facility through a live video link. As such, the system will help prisoners interact with their loved ones on important occasions including wedding ceremonies, birthdays, funerals and graduation etc.
As for the Patent number 9,386,146, it is titled, Multi-Party Conversation Analyzer and Logger. The system behind the patented technology uses the most advance techniques in signal processing and data-mining to detect significant anomalies in the communication network. For instance, it can detect callers outside prisons by matching their voice profiles to the recorded data. Accordingly, voice detection can monitor impostors and incidents of identity scams.
The CEO of Securus Technologies, Richard A. Smith, attributed the success of innovation to 200 software developers and 100 highly-skilled on-field technicians. Besides, Securus has a hard-working team of R&D and marketing specialists who contribute to the success of the product. Mr. Smith also claimed that customer feedback is always instrumental in developing successful innovative products.
In the world of his own, an inmate is able to keep in touch with other family members by communicating with them for example by making voice calls. Some of the communication devices include inmate tablets, video visitation kiosks and the commonly used S-phones. Reputable Communication companies that have been offering these services include Securus Technologies Inc. For over 28 years, Securus main objective has been to improve the inmates’ lives while reducing recidivism and at the same time ensuring improved safety and security of the inmates. The company achieves its objectives through offering their intelligent communication devices. Recently, on 4th March 2016, www.ktvq.com/story/31389491/securus-intelligent-inmate-communications-device-count-exceeds-84000-units-in-service reported that the company distributed more than 84000 of communication devices to inmates. The importance of these devices to the inmates is that they convey education to them both at university and high school level. The devices also enable the inmates access to handbooks, law libraries as well as providing entertainment which is a vital component to a peaceful habitat inside the prisons. The other basic importance of the devices is that they provide effective video communications between the inmates and family members and friend, offer religious activities and most importantly enable inmates acquire employment opportunities upon being released as rehabilitated and reformed members of the society.
In seeking to transform inmate communications, the NCDPS announced that in its bid to comply with the Federal Communication Commission Order, fees and rates applicable to the inmate telephone system had changed effective 17th March 2016. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety entered into a contract with GTL a communications company to provide inmates with phone services to enable them reach out to their families or friends at large. The person who wanted to buy such phone time either for himself or an inmate was allowed to access the services through ConnectNetwork. This was the authorized account management and deposit portal for the communications company, GTL. Some of the deposit methods and accounts included AdvancePay Prepaid Telephone Accounts and the Offender Phone Debit Accounts.