Securus Technologies works to help prisons exploit technology to their advantage

There can be no doubt that the revolution in technology that has taken place over the last 30 years has had major impacts in almost every field of endeavor. This has even been true in the nation’s prison system, where technologies have been successfully employed to improve the safety and security of inmates, guards and the public.

 

But technology has also proved to be a double-edged sword for those charged with keeping America’s jails and prisons safe. The quick spread of powerful computational devices has meant that prisons have needed to be ever-vigilant of inmates acquiring access to the means of further committing crimes even as they are carrying out long terms of incarceration in high-security complexes. And nowhere has this been made clearer than in the case of illegal cellular devices.

 

Contraband cellphones first started becoming a major problem throughout the nation’s carceral institutions in the early 2000s. It was around that time that both the price and size of cellphones dropped to such low levels that anyone could afford a cellphone, and they could hide one almost anywhere. These developments led to a flood of illegal cellular devices throughout the nation’s prisons and jails. While the majority of these phones were simply used to circumvent prison communications systems, a threat to institutional safety and security, the real problem arose when the illegal phones found their way into the hands of dangerous and sophisticated leadership of prison gangs. This posed an often-existential threat to the institutions and presented major risks for the safety and security of the general public.

 

It didn’t take long for gang leaders, who represent some of the most violent and dangerous inmates in the nation, to begin using the phones to wreak mayhem. Witnesses in high-profile cases were often intimidated into not testifying. Prosecutors were threatened and prison employees were even murdered. The gangs were able to carry our these nefarious ends by their highly organized, hierarchic structure, which is often closely modeled after actual military operations. Prison gangs often have the majority of their membership on the outside. But these ex-cons are still sworn to loyalty, carrying out any orders that they receive from leadership. This effective command-and-control structure means that gang leaders with access to effective communications, like that provided by cellphones, can effectively nullify their incarceration, being able to carry out the most heinous and violent crimes just as if they were free to walk the streets.

 

Now, Securus Technologies has begun the rollout of its Wireless Containment System. The WCS has proven itself capable of nearly completely shutting down all illegal cellular calls taking place within prisons where it is installed. The WCS promises to be a game-changer in the fight against contraband phones, permanently removing one of prison gangs’ biggest tools of mayhem.

Securus Challenge to Global Tel Link (GTL)

Customers will no longer struggle to know which company between Securus Technologies and Global Tel Link (GTL) is the best. This comes after Securus Technologies tossed a challenge to its main competitor GTL to have the two companies evaluated by an independent judge. The judge will then make a decision to prove, which company is the best. Both companies will be evaluated in terms of product sets, customer service models, capital and expense platform, and calling platforms. Chief Executive Officer at Securus Technologies Richard A. Smith has indicated it is not fair to compare the two companies. He believes Securus has made a huge investment of over $700 million yet GTL has only invested a small fraction.

 

I am a client of Securus and I believe after the historic ruling, more customers will join Securus. Over the years, I have seen Securus acquiring companies, investing heavily in technology and building a state-of-the-art technology to improve customer care. However, I will have to be in the wait-and-see mood to see how the challenge will go about and if GTL will accept to be humiliated in public.

 

Comparing Securus and GTL

 

The customer service at Securus is just awesome. Every time I call in, I find someone who is friendly and ready to answer. However, previously GTL has indicated it outsources its customer service. Securus has a team of professionals who serve as field technicians. On the other hand, GTL contracts people who are poorly informed and have no interest in the customer satisfaction. I believe this is the reason why I never feel like leaving Securus. I, therefore, support Smith when he says some customers who shifted from GTL to Securus said Securus is better. Smith has thus challenged GTL to take the challenge bake off.