A major problem with our prison system in the U.S. has been the heavy emphasis on punishment and shame to the incarcerated inmates, with the idea of rehabilitation thrown away and regarded as an after-thought, or something that can be dealt with when the inmate leaves prison.
Personally interested in the matter, I began to dig deeper on how different approaches are being done to support this belief of rehabilitation-over-punishment when I came across the telecommunications industry that is involved in prisons and jails. Ironically, what I found was quite disastrous. One of the companies – Global Tel Link (GTL) has been caught and was highlighted in the news as a seriously dishonest company. Some of the claims and files against them include adding on minutes or seconds to inmates calls outside of the compound which resulted in additional fees and charges. Additionally, the company would sometimes simply double the bill for certain calls made by inmates.
This is quite a surprising find, but what also interested me was the company that has been bringing the information forth, Securus Technologies, is also a company trying to push the ideology of rehabilitation as the primary goal of prisons with inmates. In a press release that emphasized the company’s commitment to optimizing inmate’s path towards being released with a positive impact on society, the company has discussed how they have reached 84,000 units of intelligent communication devices.
Overall, it seems Securus has a strong lead over competitors in the industry for providing reliable, secure, and beneficial services to inmates, their families, and those who work with them.