For most of the history of the United States prison system, one of the most dangerous aspects of being a prison guard was dealing with the visitation process. Not only did the visitation process present an immediate physical danger to those guards charged with overseeing it, but it also presented a systemic risk to the institution itself.
In-person visitations have long been a weak point in the security protocols of the nation’s penal institutions. Whenever prisoners come in contact with the general public, the risk of having contraband passed from one to the other increases dramatically. In addition, in-person visitation has often provided prisoners with opportunities to attack other prisoners, visitors and staff. In many cases, the guards have no choice but to uncuff prisoners and allow them to freely roam about the visitation area. This creates obvious perils for the visitors, prisoners and guards.
But the old means of facilitating in-person visitations are quickly disappearing. This is largely a product of the new video visitation technology created by Securus Technologies. With its virtual visitation technology, Securus Technologies has not only sharply reduced the number of in-person visitation throughout the nation’s prisons, it is also enable prisoners to stay in nearly constant touch with their family members and friends on the outside.
The new video visitation technology has actually proved to be far more popular than the older in-person visitations were. In addition to making prison safer, they also save families of the incarcerated thousands of dollars in lost work hours and travel costs. These are costs that, once upon a time, fell on the families who could least afford it. Now, it’s possible for a family to stay in touch with their loved ones on a daily basis for a cost as low as just $0.15 per minute.
Overall, the video visitation system has been a wild success.