Ask any guard at one of the nation’s thousands of prisons what the most dangerous threats they face in their day-to-day jobs are and they’ll likely tell you that in the top three, you’ll find the threat of inmates who have lost all sense of hope. Inmates who feel they have nothing to lose pose one of the greatest threats to guards working in the nation’s prisons. It is for this reason that thinking in criminology has led, over the last few decades, to the conclusion that preventing inmates from falling into a state of deep depression or ennui is a top priority for the maintenance of safety in the nation’s carceral institutions.
One company, Securus Technologies, is making great strides towards giving inmates a strong sense of hope. And they are doing it through advanced technologies. One of the ways in which Securus has been able to bring hope and joy to the lives of inmates, who would otherwise be consigned to spend their days among one of the most harsh and depressing environments imaginable, has been through the use of its advanced video visitation system.
These systems use high-definition screens and a patented VoIP-based communications technology that allows inmates to stay in almost uninterrupted contact with their loved ones. And it has been able to do this at a cost to inmates that, on average, does not exceed $0.15 per minute. At these rates, most inmates are able to stay in daily contact with their loved ones, including young children that they would otherwise not be able to maintain a consistent relationship with.
But perhaps the people who are most grateful for this technology are the guards themselves. With inmates who are both hopeful and unwilling to lose their communications privileges, the nation’s prisons have become vastly safer work environment for the staff that bravely defends them.