Over the years I have seen the conditions inside our state prison get more dangerous for all who have to work behind these walls. As a corrections officer, my job is to not only make sure the inmates safely do their time, but to make certain inmates, guests, guards, and staff are not in harm’s way. This gets more challenging when you have an inmate population growing faster the jail can support. In the last five years this facility has seen the inmate population go from 2,000 to over 5,000. The jail didn’t get any bigger, so these inmates are crammed in cells where tensions are certainly running high these days.
One of the officers from a prison in a bordering state called us one day to tell us how violence in his prison dropped significantly after they changed their call monitoring system. We too had been using the dated system that requires officers to sit in a small room and listen manually to inmates as they use the house phones. Securus Technologies was already making conditions better for over 2,555 jails around the country, and now we were next in line to see the results. The CEO of the company, Rick Smith, says he has over a thousand employees in his Dallas-based headquarters at the ready to make our facility safe.
The day we were able to leave the call center and allow the LBS software to monitor all the inmate calls, we really weren’t sure what to expect. Within hours our doubts were put to rest, as alerts starting rolling in concerning inmates up to no good. One inmate talked to his brother about drug use after lights out, another inmate talked about hiding weapons and where, and another inmate complained about gangs forcing him to be a mule for drugs.
Securus Technologies is an interesting company I read about that provides technology to inmates, correctional facilities and law enforcement entities throughout the United States and Canada. Securus works with over 3,000 over those entities and over 1 million inmates. I never gave much thought to cell phone usage inside of prisons and correctional facilities – I always pictured inmates talking on old fashioned payphones like in the movies. However, there are benefits to using more modern phones, including that calls can be monitored by companies like Securus Technologies that provide those services.
In addition Securus offers protective technology that can do things like seek out contraband cell phones that have been brought in illegally for inmates to use. Their technology can also stop these illegal phones from ever being able to access or pirate onto a wireless network, which could cause unknowable amounts of damage and cyber crime from people that are already behind bars.
Securus Technologies also offers technology that can provide emergency alerts in potentially harmful situation. The company calls Dallas Texas home and has created jobs for over 500 people.
I did a bit more research on Securus Technologies and found an article published on PR Newswire that featured real life quotes from Securus Technologies’ clients. These quotes were really interesting and I found especially interesting the specific instances where the technology came in useful and even prevented crime from occurring.
For instance, one of these quotes spoke to the fact that the technology allowed them to provide monitoring and collect data when there was a report of alleged abuse or misconduct. Another report talked about using the technology to investigate an employee of the prison that was actually a corrupt officer who was working with the inmates.
Overall, I found it extremely interesting that this company was providing such innovative technology in a sector I never knew existed.
For a long time now, Securus has been providing the civil and justice system with solutions that included investigating, correcting and monitoring situations for public safety. Recently however, there is a company that took them to court over breach of contract when they were using a technology they had offered Securus on a contract basis. The company, GTL, made several claims in the local newspapers, and Securus has an issue with some of them. Below are some of the corrections that the company has made from GTL’s claims.
The company GTL claimed that they were in a position to move forward with their case and seek injunctions and damages against Securus for the infringement of their copyright when using their patented technology. However, Securus states that the case that was brought before the Texas federal court is stayed. This means that GTL is currently not able to seek any further relief or move forward with this case.
GTL claim that the PTAB determined all their innovations were patentable. This according to GTL; gave them the leeway to move back to court and protect its technology because it enables law enforcement to closely watch video visits. However, Securus would like to rectify this statement and assert that the PTAB has not expressly stated that the technology was patentable and that a simple conclusion that the claims would not be reviewed was made. Besides, the current request on re-hearing shows that GTL might not be able to move back to court as soon as they want to.
GTL also claims that Securus has established a pattern of using legal contests to keep the tenders that they want. However, Securus has evidence to show that they have tried their best to reach an out of court and intelligent settlement with GTL over the case, but GTL has chosen to use millions of their money to contest patents.