One of the most stunning innovations to hit the U.S. prison scene in the last 10 years has been the video visitation system created by Securus Technologies, one of the nation’s leading prison communications firms. This video visitation system is a VoIP-based communications technology, with the ability to provide high-definition, face-to-face displays, allowing the virtual visitation experience for just $0.15 per minute, on average.
The system has been exploding in popularity across the nation’s jails and prisons, where it has allowed inmates to stay in touch with their families at a frequency and in ways never before imagined. Inmates who are now serving long terms of incarceration in the nation’s prisons are allowed to stay in nearly constant touch with their loved ones, including their small children. This has been a boon for the approximately 2.7 million children who have incarcerated parents in the United States, allowing them to maintain meaningful and frequent relationships with their incarcerated fathers. Not only is this a great benefit to the children and the fathers themselves, but it is also a proven means of reducing serious delinquency in youths, who, without a father in the home, are subject to extremely adverse life outcomes.
But the video visitation system devised by Securus has also been making prisons themselves much safer. In a number of studies, it has been demonstrated that prisons that have adopted Securus video visitation system have fewer infractions and less serious violence than those prisons that have not adopted the system. This is widely hypothesized to be due to the fact that inmate who are able to stay in frequent contact with their loved ones are incentivized to continue to be able to do so, creating a privilege that is cherished among inmates, who will go out of their way not to lose it.