I have a few friends who have a hard time visiting their loved ones in correctional facilities. The distance alone is simply too much for some of my friends, while others complain about the time it takes to even see their loved ones. Others complain about the high prices for phone calls. Needless to say, all of these obstacles have put a strain on the relationship they have with their incarcerated loved ones. Thankfully, a change is coming, and it is coming from Securus Technologies.
Securus Technologies just introduced on PR Newswire a better way to communicate with inmates, which I thought was definitely a step forward. There will be a full integration of Internet-based communication services. This could mean emails, texts, and video chats, though the possibilities are endless. Of course my friends were very excited to hear about some of these options. Many people are already using video-chat services to keep in contact with people they know, so why should an inmate have a different relationship with his or her loved ones?
I think it is even more important for inmates to be able to communicate this freely as well just to help their rehabilitation. What I have come to realize is that incarcerated people feel lonely or desperate in jails. This is one of the reasons that they find solace in cliques or questionable friends. It is the job of both the prisons and the inmate’s loved ones to keep a strong connection. This gives inmates hope and a drive to get out. My friends are also excited about the fact that these new communication systems are lot more affordable than they ever were. One of my friends has already been documented some family events that he wants to share with his loved one. The friend whose father is in jail is planning to purchase a new computer to make sure that he has the best web-cam to communicate with his father.
I do, however, have to admit that I was a little scared about all this freedom in communications. I do not want to prejudge, but there are some inmates who might be planning something unlawful. But, later I learned that Securus Technologies is using big data technology along with algorithms to ensure that every communication is scanned for suspicious material. The communication is not actively read but rather scanned by a software system that ensures nothing illegal is being said.