Over the last 12 years, Securus Technology has been implementing its video visitation systems at jails and prisons across the nation. These innovative systems have proven themselves in the line of duty and have brought great benefits to the inmates, their families and to the institutions themselves.
However, such disruptive technology has not been without its opponents. Some prison rights advocates have argued that prisoner’s rights are being curtailed, even that their human rights are being violated. This sort of criticism has been heard most vocally in the context of jails that have implemented the system. While almost no one can argue against the immense benefits that video visitation has brought to the country’s prisons, critics of its roll out in jails have cited issues, such as discontinuing traditional visitations, as being a net negative, even given all the demonstrable benefits the system brings.
These arguments are too numerous to refute or even state. The truth is, they don’t have to be refuted. That’s because the largest benefit of video visitation is simply indisputable and trumps all other considerations. Video visitation saves lives.
What few know is that Securus’ video visitation is not some over-glorified version of Skype. It is a highly sophisticated communications platform with built in monitoring, security and analysis capabilities usually only associated with national security agencies. For example, Securus’ monitoring software will automatically detect any unauthorized parties talking on any of the facility’s phones within a couple milliseconds. This helps shut down illicit communications and organized criminal activity. But it goes even deeper. Securus has the capability to monitor call transcripts, automatically compiled in real-time, for any kind of anomaly. Incredibly, these programs can actually detect whether or not inmates are using normal syntax or attempting to use code words. Unusual activity is flagged and an officer can be appointed to listen in on the rest of the call.
Eleven installation technicians from Securus Technologies recently received the Building Industry Consulting Service International certification. The Installer 1 Certification from this association is recognized internationally and is no small accomplishment in the telecommunications industry. Securus Technologies is a leading company in that industry serving correctional institutions, and this certification program will strengthen their reputation among new customers. Field work covered in this certification and others given by BICSI includes installing fiber optic cables and access points, copper wire distributions, and wireless systems. Danny de Hoyos, Vice President of Technical Operations at Securus was pleased with the results that the training program has brought.
Securus Technologies is based in Dallas, TX and has installed some of the most comprehensive IT systems in corrections facilities in the US. They serve about 3,400 facilities and over 1 million inmates and corrections staff. Securus controls the phone systems in these facilities and with Investigator Pro, inmates calls can be monitored for any contact with criminal associates. The software is equipped with voice recognition and biometric pattern detection systems. In addition, Securus has video surveillance monitoring and predictive analytics built into their THREADS technology, and alerts can be sent out to appropriate law enforcement officers.
Securus Technologies also has a ConnectUs platform where inmates can make transactions such as purchasing prepaid phone minutes, mp3 and movie downloads, commissary items, and filing electronic paperwork. Securus Instant Mail delivers email to inmates that is scanned for any contraband or threats by detection software. This program has enabled corrections departments to cut down on mailroom staffing expenses and paperwork deliveries. Inmates can now visit with family through Securus’s video visitation online software. This program runs directly through internet browsers and requires no large program installations, and anyone with a webcam can share moments at home with an incarcerated loved one.