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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.