Securus Technologies has created a communication service between the friends and family and those convicted of a wrongdoing and serving time for their misdeeds. The person in prison is paying for his crime by being taken out of society to pay for his crimes and to allow for the prisoner’s eventual reentry into society. The one ingredient which is often overlooked is the wear and tear on the fabric of friends and family of the person incarcerated. They suffer emotionally as well as financially because the brunt of visitation with the prisoner is their responsibility. Driving to a facility, which can be many miles distant where they must submit to the dehumanizing surrounding of the facility, including full body searches is necessary. Add the costs of fuel, lodging, and food and a single visit to someone in jail can amount to hundreds of dollars. Securus America saw a possibility for remote visitation in which monitored video and audio conversations could take place at a fraction of the cost of live visitation, and without the unpleasantries.
The only downside to this system is the costs. Some do not realize that this service is not only a televised phone call because these conversations must be, by necessity, monitored. In a recent PR Newswire covered Securus press release, the company leveled criticisms at Global Tel Link (GTL) for various wrongdoing and security breaches increasing the costs of the service. Securus has a long standing issue with GTL and claims excess charges of more than $1 million.
The most important considerations for incarcerations are lowering recidivism rates and protecting the public from the convicted person. But communication with attorneys, friends, and family should be continued in a progressive manner, and those who wish to remain in contact with the person behind bars need not subjected to expensive and humiliating experiences. It is the prisoner who must be punished not the family.