Potential backlash from Albany County Inmate Tablet Program

An Albany, New York sheriff is causing some controversy with his decision to allow jail inmates to use tablets behind bars. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple recently launched a new program inside of his jail cells that would allow inmates to use Apple tablets. Inmates would be allowed to do a variety of activities such as download music, play games and text family members and friends.

 

Despite the potential backlash and voiced concerns from community members, the Sheriff stated that he runs his jails as a business. Usage of the tablets behind bars is a revenue-generating activity. Inmate family members can place money within tablet accounts that allow inmates access to a number of apps. While inmates aren’t allowed to surf the internet, they are allowed to talk and text up to ten contacts that are vetted by the jail system.

 

Telmate, the inmate communications company behind the program, created the innovative tablet software that vets contacts before inmates can communicate with them. About 70 other jails across the United States operate a similar inmate communications program. Despite receiving some criticism from community members, the Sheriff contends that the program helps the jail system reduce costs. Right now, the Albany County jail system costs tax payers around $42 million a year according to the Sheriff.

 

http://www.kmov.com/story/34603666/sheriff-defends-letting-inmates-use-tablets-to-text-behind-bars

 

Communications Technology to Those with Limited Freedom

Technology has begun to invade the prisons of Ohio. Communications companies have been trying to come up with new ways to make money while connecting inmates with individuals in the outside world for less. Here are a few of the solutions that they have come up with.

Inmate E-mail System

JPay has been changing the way inmates communicate and have been looking for new ways to make the system work better in such a dark world. They have installed kiosks around the state for prisoners to log on to and send e-mails. The technology is faster than regular mail and cheaper as well. If you are an approved visitor you can connect with your loved one during a half hour video visit through these kiosks as well.

Trial Fun for Loaning out Tablets

One prison in Ohio has begun lending all its inmates tablet like devices that allow them to make 30 minute phone calls. This is a trial to see how it goes and possibly will happen in more prisons in the future. The benefits? No waiting in long lines for phones. Many fights in prison are caused because of the phones. A common statistic for low-level prisons is about 150 inmates having access to three telephones. Inmates can make 15 minute calls then must wait at least one hour to make another 15 minute call with the actual phones while on the burrowed tablets they can make half hour calls as often as they want. This means not only that the phone company can make more money, but that there are less fights when it comes to gaining access to the limited quantity of phones and available times to call.

Jay has been continually trying to give more ways to communicate and keep in touch with loved ones for inmates. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

Securus Reaches a Milestone With 30 Million VoIP Inmate Calls That Could Help Families

The inmate communications industry is quite successful at the moment. It gives families the opportunity to talk to their loved ones. One of the most successful companies is Securus. Securus just broke a record as it helped transmit 30 million inmate calls using voice over internet protocol.

 

Richard A. Smith who is the Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies was ecstatic about this major milestone that his company just reached. In fact, he said the following:

 

“The significance of having all of our inmates and friends/family members using the same state-of-the-art VoIP platform cannot be emphasized enough.”

 

Smith went on to explain the goal of the voice over internet protocol system that Securus enacted recently by saying the following:

 

“The key to achieving a low cost structure in telecommunications is taking advantage of massive economies of scale – that means large platforms, redundancy of data centers, cloud computing and storage, using the internet (internet telephony) to the maximum extent possible, efficient computer languages, and management of troubles remotely through a Network Operations Center (NOC). We use all of these proven high-tech methods to allow inmates to maintain their relationships via audio and video calling.”

 

The goal, it seems, was to help inmates, families, and the company itself. This type of communication is set to give families an opportunity to pay a lot less than before. This could not have come at a better time since many FCC officials have been critical of companies like Securus due to unnecessarily high rates.

 

Securus is hoping that this technology will be fully embraced by its customers since they will benefit from it. For one, many families will be able to see each other during a call. There is no doubt that this kind of technology is going to make a difference for the millions who need to stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones.

Global Tel-Link Hopes new Inmate Telephone Platform will Bring Families Closer

There are two big corporations that lead the inmate communication industry; one company is Global Tel-Link and the other is Securus. Global Tel-Link is the one celebrating a milestone in the industry at the moment since it just released its new inmate communication platform. Securus released its platform a while back, but Global Tel-Link wanted to workout all the possible issues in BETA before actually releasing the system to its customers.

 

This was something that Global Tel-Link wanted to do for its customers for a very long time. Eric Gonzales, who is the company’s Executive Director of Product Management for Inmate Telephones at GTL was the spokesperson for this release.

 

He expressed his joy and the company’s excitement over the release while also stating the following:

 

“Today people expect to be able to access everything on a smartphone or a tablet, whether it’s shopping, banking, trading stocks, or even setting their thermostat. Now our corrections customers can operate and administer our inmate phone system from any location with any wireless device and have all of the same security they expect when accessing our system from within their facility.”

 

It seems like Global Tel-Link understood the growing hunger customers had for their services and needed to upgrade. Most businesses are taking advantage of the digital age. Everyone uses smart devices to communicate with loved ones. It is cost-effective and simply more accessible.

 

This new platform is set to take the entire industry by storm. Families are excited to talk to their loved ones using VoIP services or through video chats that will only help them feel closer to each other. Global Tel-Link hopes that this will encourage more families to stay connected and that it will aid in the overall rehabilitation of the inmates in the prisons where these individuals reside.

 

The new communication rates being enjoyed by inmates

Inmate’s telephone rates have been overcharged for some time now. Many agencies have been coming up in different ways to create awareness about the problems being faced by inmates all over the country. Few firms are offering this service, and they have been ganging up to hike their prices. The main reason for doing so is to achieve high-profit margin.

 

Most inmates do not have a broad range of choices when in prison. A good number of them can only enjoy the service by prepaid account and debit account. FCC is now working with other stakeholders to put in place more reasonable rates for inmates. Many people have not been able to communicate with their loved ones because of the prices earlier put in place. This has affected many people especially kids whose parents have been imprisoned.

 

FCC has been able to put in place more reasonable rates that a wide range of people can afford without getting into debt. The communication has been categories into two, local calls and long distance calls. For those individuals who call people located around the region will have to pay lower rates.

 

People with communication disabilities have been well catered for by the new regulations put in place. The use of text telephones has been made more affordable to users. Inmates can now save a lot of money while using the services since service providers have been limited the amount of cash they can charge.

 

In cases where you are not satisfied with the service being offered by the service provider, there are many channels available at the moment where people can air out their problems. Keeping in mind, a good fraction of states have the same rules when it comes to inmates this apply to a good portion of the country.

 

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/inmate-telephone-service

 

How Inmate Communications Promotes Harmony in Prisons

Facilitation of inmate communications is a mandate of every prison facility and a topic that has had many prison officials scratching their heads. Not only was the communication infrastructure expensive, monitoring of calls was a problem not to forget the below-par quality of the calls. However, this is a talk of the past as today the atmosphere around prison communications has improved immensely.

 

Today every incarceration facility understands that part of maintaining harmony within the inmates is ensuring they get connected to the family and friends. Thus the introduction of prison phone call services and also the sale of phone cards to inmates to facilitate their keeping in touch with loved ones. Once infrastructure was not an issue, the next mandate was to regulate prison call rates which were at an all-time high.

 

The Federal Communications Commission in America has taken upon itself the task of introducing a price ceiling to prison calls. Before this price cap making calls to and out of prisons was a nightmare with inmates and their loved ones being charge an alarming $14 a minute. But the FCC stepped in and introduced regulations, one of them being pricing a 15 minute call for at most $1.65. This not only eased things up for the inmates, but prison communication service companies had to rethink their strategies if they are to maintain profit margins.

 

Soon enough video visitation service was introduced into the picture, making things even better. It is certainly heartwarming to be able to smile back at your daughter or father as you hold a real time video conversation. Companies like Securus Technologies have taken it a notch higher by introducing prison to home video call services at any time of the day.

 

Inmate communications is at the core of maintaining harmony and order within incarceration facilities. For this reason, prison management is mandated to introduce affordable and quality communication services and always look for ways to improve such services, much to the appreciation of inmates and their loved ones.

 

 

Searchable Voice Added To Investigator Pro 4.0

Securus Technologies latest technology, Investigator Pro 4.0, has already received a bit of an upgrade. When Investigator Pro 4.0 was first released it allowed facilities the ability to track phone calls either coming into or leaving a facility. Flag phone calls made by the same inmate to separate parties, flag phone calls made by an outside source to different inmates inside the same facility, and alert investigators if a person of interest inside the facility is receiving phone calls from different sources.

 

Now Investigator Pro is getting an upgrade with the Searchable Voice technology. This new technology allows investigators to sample voice clips of inmates or persons calling the facility and use the voice clips to search over the call database and link the voice sample to other calls made or received by an inmate or outside caller. This added technology will enable investigators to answer questions, such as: “Is a current inmate in contact with released inmates?”, ” Are other images speaking with the same party?”, and they can find out if the party calling was ever an incarcerated person.

 

Investigator Pro 4.0 with Searchable Voice will help investigators stay ahead of any questionable activity and investigate crimes quicker. Securus Technologies are based in Dallas, Texas, and is committed to the safety of inmates and staff through biometric analysis, emergency response, information management, incident management, investigation, and inmate self service. Securus technology is available at over 3400 facilities and they help over 1,200,000 inmates across the nation.

 

Legacy Launches an All-Inclusive Communication Device

A leading communication provider for the corrections industry, Legacy Inmate Communication, announced their latest communication platform, Bridge Communication Device -BCD-. The device will revolutionize the correction industry as it will allow inmates to access communication services. The platform will have video visitation, voicemail, email and video messages. It will also have additional services such as a law library, automated inmate information system, commissary interface and kite request.

 

 

The technology will be available at a low cost and will combine all the inmates’ services into one cheap, versatile device. Bridge Communication Device will be mounted on the wall. It has a small 10-inch touchscreen that will be used for communication. The display is impressive with high definition and an aspect ratio of 16:9 designed for video visits, messages, operation services, and purchases.

 

 

The Bridge device will allow all Legacy communication services to be on a single device. This technology that Legacy has announced is likely to replace the telephones because it serves as phone but with more added services than a telephone.

 

 

The device is perfect for all the facilities from the local police department to DOCs. Bridge Communication Device will be crucial to any correction facility as it will enable communication to be more controlled. The officers will have plenty of investigating opportunities to further improve the security in jails. BCD is not only beneficial to inmates, but the correctional facilities will also have an opportunity to generate revenues.

 

 

Legacy promises to give favorable rates to families and friends of inmates and better customer services. The technology will complement all parties involved, and inmate reoffending will be reduced.

 

 

The advantages that Bridge Communication Device will offer is without a doubt plenty. The main distinct advantage, however, Legacy is giving an integrated technology that is new, and incorporates all the services needed into one device. This technology is without a doubt going to transform communication in the correction facilities.

Will South Carolina Block Cell Phones For Inmates?

There are some hard and fast rules when it comes to cell phones in U.S. prisons. That is to say that such phones are not permitted. They would allow people to communicate with those in the outside world, and this could lead to devastating consequences. However, with any given rule or regulation, there are those who will try to get around it, and the cell phone issue is certainly one that is a problem.

 

It is hard for prison guards to keep up with the massive flow of cell phones that are smuggled into prisons each year. All that they can really do is try to prevent them from coming in. If they fail to do this, then they will take them from the prisoner once they are discovered. However, at that point it may be too late.

 

With this much concern about cell phones, authorities in South Carolina have asked the Federal Government for permission to install technology which would block cell phone signals in the prisons in the first place. This is technology which is available to them but which they are currently not able to use.

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has determined that such cell phone blocking technologies pose a risk to the officers on duty. Those officers may need to use their own cell phones in the event of an emergency in the prison. Thus, the commission has been reluctant to allow states to put in the cell phone blocking technology.

 

With that in mind, South Carolina makes the argument that their officers are not permitted to bring their cell phones to work in the first place. As such, the cell phone blocking technology would not have an impact on their work as it is currently performed. The FCC has not responded to this inquiry as of yet.

 

What you May Not Know about Inmate Communinations

I think that the world in large would be fairly surprised to see the way that many jails and prisons operate in America. I believe that there is a large conception that why all look the same as how they have been portrayed throughout movies and television. We picture dark, grimy, cold cements rooms, in rows and rows. Each one closed of with an iron bar door. The truth is, that for many prisons, this could not be further from the truth.

I believe that this is just one of the many common misconceptions or ideas of what daily life is like in jail or prison. Another one that is widely misunderstood is inmate communication. A few of the details about the reality of communications among inmates was discussed in the recent blog article “Partnership with Davidson Sherriff Leads to Lowest Inmate Phone Rates in the State”. In the article, written by Vinnie Mascarenhas, it states that one of the major concerns for prisons is maintaining the call rate for the prison, as it can become a large expense to the prison and taxpayers. The article state that the local prison had developed a system of repeatedly demonstrating that increased communication with loved ones was an effective way of maintaining the community ties that are “crucial to reducing the probability of recidivism”. In order to produce these results, the prison initiated a deal with the communications company GLobel Tel to sustain low call rates, which would mean less of an expense to prisoners and the community overall.