Securus Technologies, Inc. a leading provider of inmate communications services and innovative offender and case management software design, today announced that it, in a partnership with CenturyLink – completed the installation work at all Texas state-operated prison facilities in December, 2009.This is welcome news. Texas was the last state to approve a prison phone system, which is widely acknowledged as beneficial for maintaining family ties and facilitating successful reentry. It also gives prison staff an excellent carrot they can give out and take away to improve inmate behavior. (In the federal system inmates will soon have limited access to email for the same reasons.) About half of men and 2/3 of women prisoners are parents of minor-age children, so if only for their sake I've always thought this was a good idea.
- Seven (7) year contract with Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ);
- Installation of approximately 5,500 phones that are used on a tightly controlled basis to make secure outbound calls;
- 120,000 Texas inmates are potentially eligible for phone privileges;
- This contract represents the largest department of corrections contract ever signed in the inmate telecommunications sector;
- The unique challenges of installing inmate telecommunications services at facilities where inmate phone calling was previously not allowed – were overcome;
- Securus and CenturyLink successfully managed a $30 million installation project to completion over the last twelve (12) months.
As an ancillary benefit, it's been suggested that to the extent inmates were using illegal contraband cell phones for family-related calls, perhaps having access to legal phone service will mitigate demand for them as contraband inside Texas prison units. I wouldn't count on it to the exclusion of more overt security measures, but it certainly can't hurt.