The Stevie Awards recently announced that Securus Technology, the nation’s leading inmate communications provider, had made the final three cut in its awards. This means that Securus is guaranteed, at a minimum, to walk away with a Bronze Award. The awards are given in recognition of meritorious service and excellent customer care throughout the prior year. Companies contend with thousands of entrants, but only three are chosen for the coveted award. For Securus, this signifies a high-water mark among the ebbs and flows that their business has experienced over the last decade. But it also serves as a vindication of its management’s customer-first, technology-driven philosophy.
The biggest winners are the families
Securus has many direct customers of its services and even more stakeholders. But, of them all, it’s the families of inmates who have gained the most from Securus’ innovative and industry-changing technologies.
The most prominent example is their video visitation system. Just over ten years ago, if a family wanted to visit an incarcerated loved one, they would have been forced to drive, sometimes hundreds of miles, to the prison and see them in-person. Aside from the terrible indignities the innocent experience when entering a prison environment for the first time, these odysseys often proved financially disastrous for the poor families of the inmates. A family who lives in Chicago, where the crime of their loved one was committed, may have to travel hundreds of miles to Vienna, IL, to visit their son. In a real case, the family of a man convicted in San Diego was forced to drive to San Quentin, on the shores of the San Francisco bay. These trips cost families thousands and often left them with no choice but to forego seeing their loved one.
Today, a video visitation costs a mere $.05 per minute, and inmates are allowed virtually unlimited face-to-face access to their family members.