Prison services giant Securus Technologies over the last decade has rolled out its innovative video visitation platform to much acclaim from prison staff, inmates and their families. The technology has been a blessing, especially for families and inmates who have seen costs of visitations slashed, in some cases by hundreds of times. But inmates and their loved ones haven’t been the only beneficiaries of this new means of visitation. Prison staff have benefited as well. And perhaps most importantly, safety at the institutions where Securus Video Visitation has been installed has measurably increased.
Video visitation has improved the lives of all involved in the prison system.
The horrible costs of an incarcerated loved one
Sitting in court and watching as a loved one is sentenced to a lengthy prison term is one of the most frightening and terrible moments a family can endure. Unfortunately for those not familiar with the inner workings of the U.S. prison system, at sentencing, their ordeal is only beginning. It’s said by many families of the incarcerated that the loved ones closest to the inmate get the same sentence, that they are doing time right alongside the condemned. In too many cases, this is quite literally true.
Consider the old visitation system. In-person visits often required waiting in a long line among people visiting convicted felons, some of whom are considered extremely dangerous and have a track record of manipulative crimes. The warden will often send his toughest, most aggressive officers to handle visitation duty because it’s perhaps the weakest link in the institution’s security chain. Family members can find themselves the target of harsh reprimands, being ordered around as if they were the criminal. In far too many cases, visitors themselves become suspected of passing illegal contraband and are subjected to searches, seizures and in some cases, even arrest. This may seem overbearing to the uninitiated, but from the institution’s perspective it’s an absolutely necessary step to prevent dangerous security breaches that can threaten the lives of inmates and staff. Regardless, for a non criminal the experience of entering a state prison and effectively becoming another prisoner can be a shocking and traumatic experience.
Securus’ Video Visitation technology allows families to visit their loved ones from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks to Securus, tens of thousands of families will be able to stay connected with loved ones this holiday season and will be spared the indignities of an in-person prison visit.