GTL and Purple Communications Partner to Launch Video Relay Service (VRS) for Deaf or Hard- of-Hearing Inmates

VRS provides video calls – meeting the unique needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates

Reston, Virginia (PRNewsWire) – June 14, 2016 – Global Tel*Link (GTL) , the leading provider of correctional technology solutions and an innovator in payment services solutions for government, today announced a partnership with Purple Communications, Inc., to empower deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who are incarcerated with a new Video Relay Service (VRS).

Discussions began in late 2014 as GTL understood our customers needed to meet the unique needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in facilities who were not familiar with traditional Text Telephone/Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TTY/TDD) devices. In response to both our customer and inmate requests, GTL began to forge partnerships with existing VRS providers. Purple Communications was chosen as a partner not only for their vast experience in the corrections industry but also because of their willingness to adapt their VRS applications to GTL’s stringent security standards. By integrating their hardware and software solutions, GTL and Purple can offer deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates a state-of-the-art VRS service which supplants outdated TTY/TDD services.

The FCC currently only requires Inmate Calling Services (ICS) providers like GTL to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates with teletypewriter (TTY) devices; however, GTL’s new VRS service goes above and beyond those FCC requirements by providing a video service and a live person to sign on behalf of deaf or hard-of-hearing inmates. We believe this further strengthens our position in the industry, as not only a technological innovator but also an industry thought leader.

Purple Communications has made VRS simple for everyone to use. Essentially, when a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual attempts to make a phone call, they dial the number which is already registered with Purple and the number then rings into a phone with a Purple application (a lot like Skype,) so people who know sign language can sign to each other directly.

Additionally, in situations where a deaf or hard-of-hearing inmate dials a voice telephone user, they are connected to Purple’s Relay Service and an interpreter appears on the screen. At that point this interpreter relays the call between the parties, using sign language with the inmate and voice with the hearing party. These interpreters serve as the intermediary and provide 24/7 VRS service in both English and Spanish. VRS calls may also be recorded and monitored to ensure security and safety. Currently, GTL is providing VRS service in three state DOC’s and several counties across the nation.

Photo Description: The VRS application is simple and easy to use. Using GTL’s multipurpose Flex® Link video
terminal, the inmate selects the VRS app and dials the called party; all subsequent steps are automated. The system
knows if the called number is registered to another VRS user and if so connects the individuals via video directly. If
the called number is not a registered VRS phone number a video interpreter automatically appears on the inmate
screen so the interpreter can sign with the inmate and speak with the called party.

“Many deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates were simply not familiar with the TTY devices and were unable
to communicate with lawyers and family members. Imagine being in jail and in a place where no one can
speak your language. GTL’s VRS product removes that barrier and restores the line of communication
many of these inmates have been lacking for, in some cases, years,” said Brian Peters, Executive Director
of Inmate Applications and Hardware at GTL. “We spent nearly two years working with our industry
partners to create a secure VRS solution we are all proud of. To see the smiles on the faces of both the
inmates and the family members when using this technology is priceless.”

For more information or to receive a demonstration of this technology contact GTL today. This new VRS solution will also be demonstrated by GTL in booth #822 at the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 26-28.

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About Global Tel*Link
GTL is the leading provider of integrated correctional technology solutions, delivering financial value, security, and ease of operation to our customers through visionary products and solutions at the forefront of corrections innovation. As a trusted correctional industry leader, GTL provides service to approximately fifty percent of inmates nationwide, including service to 33 state departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 32 of the largest city/county facilities. GTL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with more than 10 regional offices across the country. To find out more about GTL, please visit our website www.gtl.net. You can also view us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Press Release Contact
Vinnie Mascarenhas
phone: 703-955-3894

email: vinnie.mascarenhas@gtl.net

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GTL and Purple Communications Partner to Launch Video Relay Service (VRS) for Deaf or Hard- of-Hearing Inmates

We Must Help Each Other Find Humanity

November 22, 2017

Being incarcerated is challenging, but it can be acutely challenging during the holiday season. The holidays are about being with loved ones. But for inmates and their loved ones who are apart, it takes a lot to get a feel for the holiday season.

Every correctional facility is unique, but most try and facilitate communication between inmates and their loved ones to make the holidays a little brighter for everyone. Still, inmates often report that it is the hardest time of year for them. Ahead of the holidays last year, The Chicago Tribune collected letters from inmates on what it’s like to spend the holidays incarcerated. One inmate, Marcos Gray, wrote, “We have to help one another find humanity in such a bleak circumstance.”

A Forbes article that focused on holidays while in prison quoted one inmate as saying, “As one would expect, most inmates probably feel the distance from family and friends most over the holiday; thus, in a way you can feel a layer of ’melancholy’ for lack of a better word, through the camp.” But, he went on to say, “For some inmates, most likely including myself, where it is their last Christmas away from family, there was some expression of optimism during this season, by looking forward to the next.”

Celebrating the holidays often involves communicating with loved ones, catching up on family news, and debating politics at the dinner table. GTL’s Inspire® tablet program can facilitate a version of that tradition. Through the Messaging application, inmates can send electronic messages and receive messages (and photos and videos) in return. The Newsfeed application allows inmates to remain informed about current events, politics, sports, and pop culture. And since the tablets can make phone calls, every inmate can talk with their loved ones on the holidays without having to wait for an available phone.

Correctional technology companies like GTL often focus on big picture issues like breaking the cycle of recidivism through increased education and digital literacy. Yet it is often the small but vital things that make a difference in inmates’ daily lives, such as seeing their child’s smile on Christmas morning or telling their parents that they love them. During the holidays, it is just as important for inmates to be connected to their friends and families as it is for families outside prison walls.

Press Contact:
Vinnie Mascarenhas
703-955-3894
vinnie.mascarenhas@gtl.net

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Payment & Deposit Solutions

Payment Services

GTL’s Deposit Systems create efficiencies when taking deposits, reduce correctional facility costs, and increase the convenience for friends and family members. GTL offers a broad selection of products to choose from so that the right mix can be created for every facility.

Booking & Intake Solutions

GTL offers multiple options for friends and family to set up and fund telephone accounts, inmate trust accounts, or commissary accounts. This streamlines the payment process for friends and family members seeking to communicate with incarcerated loved ones or provide them with funds.

Release Solutions

GTL’s innovative technology allows correctional facilities to streamline the release process through a suite of easy-to-use, time-saving products for returning inmate funds at the time of release.

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Enterprise Management Solutions

Offender Management System (OMS)

From intake to release, information on all aspects of an inmate’s incarcerations are maintained by the GTL Offender Management System (OMS) – including initial intake, charges, sentencing, property, housing, medical, meal planning, scheduling, and temporary release to name a few.

Inmate Accounting & Commissary

OMS Accounting was specifically designed to meet the needs of correctional facilities of every size. Unlike standard off-the-shelf accounting systems, OMS Accounting offers corrections institutions the exact modules that will help them complete all of their correctional facility’s accounting activities.

Virtual Receptionist

GTL’s Facility Services Secretary allows friends and families to easily access facility information, inmate status, and other services such as court dates, release dates, facility address and directions, rules and policies, visitation information and hours, just by dialing a single toll-free number.

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Investigative & Intelligence Solutions

Call & Voice Analysis

GTL’s IQ family of call and voice analysis products offer investigators a range of options for gathering actionable intelligence to combat fraud, criminal activity, and gang and terrorist recruitment by pinpointing the location of a called party, identifying phone type, detecting calls from multiple inmates to a single called party, and identifying inmates using voiceprints.

Data Analysis

GTL’s data analysis tools include a powerful data mining and link analysis application to identify actionable intelligence critical to ensuring a facility’s safety and security. They offer the ability to take any data source for the purposes of analysis, even including the detection of mobile devices and the extraction of its data.

Intelligence & Forensic Services

GTL’s Intelligence as a Service offering is flexible enough to meet the unique demands of individual facilities. Focused on the development of actionable intelligence, analysts are trained and equipped with the tools to analyze vast amounts of raw data to provide facilities with the proverbial “needle in a haystack.” Depending on facility needs, analysts can also be equipped to provide mobile device forensic services to extract data from legally seized contraband phones, thus assisting facilities in shutting down the supply of contraband.

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Communication Solutions

Inmate Telephone Systems

GTL’s feature-rich Inmate Telephone System is a turnkey solution that comes complete with all hardware and software, including the telephone network, circuits, monitoring and recording system, call-control system, secure database, telephones, workstations, printers, and associated software.

Inmate Messaging

Message Link provides an electronic alternative to an otherwise inefficient and potentially tainted communication method. As contraband and cryptic messages are entering correctional facilities through an ever-rising level of creativity, Message Link provides a secure, controlled environment for inmate messaging.

Visitation Management

The GTL VisitMe video visitation solution allows facilities to transition traditional in-person visitation service to a more secure on-premise or remote alternative. This highly scalable solution can help facilities improve security while reallocating staff time to more critical tasks.

VisitMe Scheduler can eliminate long queues in the visitation area by avoiding the chaos of having a high volume of concurrent visitors at the facility. In so doing, the system also minimizes staffing requirements.

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Inmate Services

Education & Information

Education Link allows inmates to take advantage of several electronic learning initiatives while monitoring and reporting each inmate’s progress so adjustments can be made, if necessary.

Entertainment

Our in-pod kiosk can be configured to allow inmates to access a variety of approved multimedia applications through a secure personal device. Offerings in the GTL entertainment portfolio provide access to the largest MP3/4, video, and e-book secure library available.

In-Facility Services

Introducing GTL Genesis to a facility provides an automated alternative to manual, behind-the-bars activities. In addition, the GTL Genesis provides the opportunity to introduce new interactive technologies that help inmates manage their incarcerated time.