GTL Continues Support of BEST Entrepreneurship Program

Underscores commitment to promote and enhance programs that put inmates on a path towards personal achievement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reston, Virginia (PRNewsWire) – August 15, 2017GTL, an innovation leader in correctional technology, education solutions that assist in rehabilitating inmates, and payment services solutions for government, today announced it will continue the commitment to entrepreneurship which began with IDS’ and the Nashe family’s involvement in the Building Entrepreneurs for Success in Tennessee (BEST), a program of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC). Since its inception in 2014, the BEST program has had continued accolades after graduating three cohorts of student inmates and setting them on a path towards personal achievement as they work to successfully reenter society.

The program has been effective in reducing recidivism rates for several reasons. The BEST program incorporates a wide variety of volunteers, professors, community leaders, business people, and professional speakers who regularly engage the program participants by sharing their entrepreneurial stories. When an inmate enters the BEST program, the first three months are spent on character development. Subsequently, inmates develop their own personal business plan. Through a partnership with a local university, a class of students visits the prison once a week to help the BEST students develop and fine tune these plans. Program participants also learn how to use software such as Microsoft® Word®, PowerPoint®, and Excel®, as well as participate in classes around financial literacy and business education principles.

“BEST emphasizes the need for every student to become a confident and competent public speaker,” said Karen Vander Molen, Program Director at BEST. “An important part of the curriculum is teaching students how to create and deliver a speech—by the end of the program, every student must deliver 10 speeches. This is an opportunity for students to practice effective public speaking and, concurrently, learn how to listen and understand other people, which is key when searching for and maintaining a job upon reentry.”

“Since 2014, IDS has supported and provided tablets to the BEST program,” said Dr. Turner Nashe, GTL Senior Vice President of Education Services. “As an entrepreneur, I know that the path to personal success begins by learning the free enterprise system and the ways to succeed in it.”

In February of this year, Dr. Nashe and his wife, Phylanice Nashe, J.D., personally donated $100,000 to the BEST program which was recognized at a celebration event in March. “Former inmates have a difficult time finding employment,” continued Dr. Nashe. “Teaching entrepreneurial skills can help make inmates self-sufficient, alleviating the stress of job applications and employment rejection. We are paving an inmate’s path to success by providing support to organizations such as BEST.”

The BEST program is comprised of four phases:

• Phase One – BEST seeks to empower individuals with self-knowledge, presentation, conflict management, negotiation, cooperation, planning, technology, goal-setting, and decision making skills. Inmates also participate in a recognized public speaking program that equips them with speaking, listening, and critical evaluation skills.

• Phase Two – Business, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills are taught. Mentors from a recognized business program and students of entrepreneurship from a local university assist the participants as they each develop their own business plan.

• Phase Three – During post-graduation and pre-release, BEST continues through book studies, newsletters to members of the BEST community, and meetings when possible.

• Phase Four – Upon release, former inmates can tap into the network of BEST partners as they return to the community, ready to be contributing members of society as employees or business owners.

“Now that IDS is part of the GTL family, we look for new ways to promote and help enhance the BEST program and other programs that put inmates on a path of personal achievement,” concluded Nashe.

GTL’s entire solution suite will be showcased from August 20–22 in booth 301 at the American Correctional Association’s 147th Congress of Correction in St. Louis, Missouri. GTL will also have its Technology in Motion tour vehicle on display inside the exposition hall at the ACA conference. The Technology in Motion vehicle includes the latest hardware, software, and connectivity to enable comprehensive hands-on demonstrations of the full range of offerings for the corrections, education, and government sectors.

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About GTL
GTL leads the fields of correctional technology, education, and government payment services with visionary solutions and customized products that integrate seamlessly to deliver security, financial value, and operational efficiencies while aiding inmate rehabilitation and reducing recidivism rates. With the recent acquisition of Telmate, GTL has strengthened its suite of solutions for the corrections industry and expanded its community corrections portfolio with Telmate Guardian, a smartphone-based GPS monitoring solution. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides services to over 2 million inmates in more than 2,500 correctional facilities in the United States and Canada, including 33 U.S. departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and many large city/county/provincial facilities. GTL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with an employee presence throughout North America. To learn more about GTL, please visit www.gtl.net or our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About BEST
Cohort 1, the pilot class of the BEST program, started on October 21, 2014 with 22 men. All classes were held at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex, just west of downtown Nashville, Monday through Friday, six hours per day. Eighteen men graduated on April 24, 2015, each with his own business plan. Eighty-three volunteers donated 1,929 hours during the six-month program. Cohort 2, included 19 women from three Tennessee prisons who meet at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. We used the electronic tablets provided by partner Innertainment Delivery Systems to deliver curriculum, including the Nashville Entrepreneur Center PreFlight materials. Eighty-nine volunteers shared their expertise and passion to change lives. Seventeen women completed the program. Cohort 3 began October 17, 2016 at the Tennessee Prison for Women with 20 women. Seventeen women graduated April 28, 2017, each having completed her business plan. This cohort’s plans range from “All Things Honey” to “DiNardo Scrubs” custom cleaning service. They have completed their 10 speeches attaining the Toastmasters International “Competent Communicator” certification. Their Toastmasters skills were on display at Graduation. To learn more about BEST, please visit http://www.ec.co/best.

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

email: vinnie.mascarenhas@gtl.net

Press Release Contact Click Here to download a PDF version

GTL Continues Support of BEST Entrepreneurship Program

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.