The last 20 years have been among the best in American history in which to be incarcerated in one of the country’s many prisons. This is largely due to the fact that modern prisoners are able to access cheap means of communication, being able to stay in contact with their family members and friends on the outside in ways that they never were able to do before.
This revolution has been brought about by highly innovative technologies created by such companies as Securus Technologies, one of the largest inmate communications providers in the country. Securus has spent over $1 billion of its own money over the last decade devising new technologies that allow inmates to stay in contact with their loved ones like never before. One of the most innovative technologies the company has devised has been its video visitation service, which allows inmates to communicate face-to-face with their loved ones on a high-definition display for just $0.15 per minute on average.
Securus also provides significant revenues to the institutions in which it does business. In 2016, the company provided nearly $500 million in payments to the prisons in which it operates, making up for significant budgetary shortfalls in prisons across the United States. This revenue is often a means of funding crucial dimensions of the prisons’ operations, such as the hiring of staff and the provision of beds.
In addition, many studies have shown that inmates who are able to stay in frequent contact with their loved ones on the outside, avoiding becoming completely socialized to prison life, have markedly better outcomes upon being released. Securus has shown that prisons that install video visitation systems also have lower rates of behavioral infractions among inmates, leading to a safer environment for both inmates and staff alike.