One of the most popular new innovations to the prison communication space in the United States has been the video visitation system created by Securus Technologies. Over the last decade, Securus has rolled out its video visitation platform, enabling prisoners to maintain face-to-face communications with their loved ones on the outside, on a virtually unlimited basis.
The platform has taken the prison communication space by storm. Thousands of institutions have already installed the video visitation system within their properties, leading to the ability of hundreds of thousands of inmates to enjoy high-quality virtual visitations with their family members on a daily basis. This has allowed unprecedented levels of communication between families and inmates, fostering strong relationships and allowing children of those incarcerated to continue to have meaningful relationships with their parent figures.
And one of the more amazing parts of this incredible technology is the fact that Securus has been able to implement the system at a cost that is often times less expensive than traditional outgoing phone calls on older analog phone systems. One of the reasons that Securus has been able to keep the price so low, at an average of just $0.15 per minute across all of the institutions where the video visitation system has been installed, is that Securus has developed its own VoIP-based communications technology. This system is not only able to allow for the placement of calls at a much cheaper rate than older analog systems, it has also enabled Securus to incorporate a large number of highly sophisticated security functions that guards and prisoners administrators love.
For example, the video visitation system currently offers a suite of security features that allow for the constant, automated monitoring of all communications taking place over the prison phone systems. Guards are automatically alerted if any suspicious activities, including the use of code words or the discussion of criminal activities, take place.
Each day I suit up for my job at the local prison, I wonder how many people realize how dangerous this career path really is. If not for me and my fellow officers, these inmates could easily overtake the facility and be right back on the streets again. The biggest issues for guards is that they are outnumbered by the inmates and are on the front line of some of the most violent individuals.
The officers in my jail are working hard every day in a number of areas of the prison to keep the peace. We put a strong presence at the inmate visitor center to stop contraband from getting from the outside, and we even ramped up our efforts doing cell inspections. In the past, we even designated a few officers each day to sit in a room and have to listen to the inmates talking on the phone in the hopes of picking up chatter about illegal activities.
Then we were introduced to Securus Technologies and discovered their inmate call monitoring system could change the way our officers conducted business and made the jail safer. Securus Technologies is a solid company that developed the new inmate call monitoring systems used in several thousand jails around the country. The company and all thousand employees want to make the world safer, and we can attest to that only a year after signing up for the the system.
Now instead of always being in a reactive state when a crime s committed inside the jail, the LBS software alerts us of potential trouble and we instantly spring into action. This gives us the advantage to stop illegal activities before they have even been committed, making the jail a safer place for officers to work and a safer place for the inmates too.
Rick Smith is the CEO of Securus Technologies Inc., a provider of telecommunications solutions for correctional facilities. He was appointed CEO inJune 2008, and has provided excellent leadership for the company since then. Rick is based in Dallas, Texas, and has vast experience in a number of departments including information technology, financial management, business development, and operational management. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Rochester and also graduated from the State University of New York with a Master’s degree in engineering. According to Wikipedia
Rick Smith’s career began in 1972 at Global Crossing North America Inc. where he held various positions including chief information officer and financial controller. He left this company after 16 years and went on to work with Frontier Information Technologies, where he was appointed president after a few years. He also served as vice president of Midwest Telephone Operations. Mr. Smith worked with Eschelon Telecom Inc. and served as president and chief operating officer between2000 and 2003.He was also a member of the Eschelon board of directors. Besides his position as CEO of Securus, Rick Smith serves on the board of Integra Telecom Co Ltd.
Contribution to Inmate Communications Industry
The inmate telecommunications industry is a very challenging industry to operate in since companies have to find ways of providing affordable services to inmates and still make profits. They also have to keep developing new products and services to make prisons and other correctional facilities safe for both inmates and the people who work there. With Rick Smith at the helm, Securus has managed to keep up with changes in the industry and improve their services accordingly.
Rick Smith has excellently guided the other executives and employees of the company in setting winning strategies and implementing them. They have developed several new products and services for use in correctional facilities. For instance, prisoners can now video call their loved ones on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. This makes the incarceration experience more bearable for both inmates and their families. Securus has grown in leaps and bounds under the leadership of Rick Smith, and is now a leader in the telecommunications industry. It serves well over 2000 correctional facilities in the U.S.
Juggling all the responsibilities that Rick Smith has is no mean feat. It requires discipline and 100% commitment. He gets a lot of fulfilment from seeing his work improving the lives of inmates and their families. This is what drives him to stay focused on his goals and work hard to see that they are met. Thanks to his excellent leadership, Securus has set the bar high for other players in the telecommunications industry. The company is bound to grow even more under his leadership. Read more on Crunchbase.com
In a recent spat with competitor GTL, Securus Technologies, the nation’s leading prison communications company, issued a challenge. GTL had long been making specious claims regarding the capabilities of its technologies relative to those of Securus. They had even taken it so far as to file frivolous lawsuits preposterously accusing their more successful competitor of infringing on their intellectual property.
Securus finally responded, giving GTL an opportunity to pit its video visitation system against that of Securus. The challenge had rules, definitions of how scores would be tallied and even an impartial judge. GTL flatly declined. Its refusal to even countenance a technological duel speaks strongly in Securus’ favor. With over 600 patents and billions spent in research and development, it would be hard for any competitor in the world to meet or exceed Securus’ capabilities.
A new technology becomes the industry standard
Securus was first to market with its highly innovative, VoIP-based video visitation solution. And since then, it’s enjoyed a lead which its competitors have failed to close. Over the last ten years, Securus has rolled out its video visitation to thousands of prisons across the country and has made constant improvements. Today, there is little doubt that it has the go-to video visitation system for the U.S. prison industry.
But the real driver behind all this success has been a core product that delivers what it promises to its main customers: inmates, their families and prison staff. Video visitation has been shown to reduce disciplinary problems by keeping inmates in far more frequent contact with their loved ones on the outside. The positive effect on the country’s carceral environment has been almost difficult to overstate. And the technology has saved individual families thousands of dollars while allowing them to stay in almost constant contact with their loved ones, through one of life’s most trying periods.