How Far We’ve Come: 2017 A Year of Innovation
January 3, 2018
At the end of 2016, our CEO Brian Oliver said he was “excited about the expertise that we have brought on board and look forward to the products, technology, and services GTL will bring to our current and new customers in 2017 with this experienced team.” The successes of 2017 delivered with a bang. As the year has come to an end, and we look forward to 2018, we want to look back at some of GTL’s industry-leading advancements in 2017 in the fields of communication, education, and tablet technology.
GTL prioritized making tablet technology state of the art this year, launching our Inspire® 1.5 tablet in late January and Inspire® version 2.0 a few months later. We sought to make the user experience more pleasant, secure, and modern for the inmates who use it and the staff who monitor its use. GTL also reinforced its commitment to reducing recidivism in U.S. prisons by acquiring the leading U.S. provider of inmate education systems, Innertainment Delivery Systems (IDS). On acquiring IDS, Mr. Oliver said, “We partnered with IDS because we share the focus, passion, experience, and professional tools to effectively combat the national problem of high recidivism. With the acquisition of IDS, we are working with the best in the business at having an impact on reducing recidivism rates across the nation.”
Other notable improvements for the Inspire® inmate tablet program included the tablet passing a military-grade drop test, and several new applications, including eBooks and a Newsfeed application that keeps inmates informed on the news happening around the world. GTL also introduced an industry-first application, Request2Call, that allows loved ones to see when their inmates are logged into a tablet and to send them a message stating that they are available to talk.
Inmates using GTL tablets can access music, eBooks, news, and games, in addition to connecting with loved ones through phone calls and electronic messages (friends and family members can also send inmates photos and videos). Understanding that communication with loved ones reduces the likelihood that an inmate will recidivate, GTL has made every effort to ensure inmates can more easily communicate with their families.
In August, GTL acquired Telmate, a leading provider of secure corrections solutions and community corrections and probation/parole applications. Telmate’s mission revolves around creating secure technology that empowers inmates to break the cycle of recidivism, making them a perfect partner for GTL. On how the acquisition of Telmate would help further GTL’s core missions, Mr. Oliver said, “The services offered by Telmate will blend perfectly with those already provided by GTL and allow us to better assist in areas like community corrections.”
GTL has also increased the functionality of our core call solutions. In January, GTL launched a new release of its Inmate Call Manager that introduced new functionality, including more robust security features. This upgrade to Inmate Call Manager was also optimized for mobile devices, making it easier to use on smartphones and tablets and, therefore, a more powerful tool for corrections officers. “Today people expect to be able to access everything on a smartphone or a tablet, whether it’s shopping, banking, trading stocks, or even setting their thermostat. Now our corrections customers can operate and administer our inmate phone system from any location with any wireless device and have all of the same security they expect when accessing our system from within their facility,” stated Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director of Product Management for Inmate Telephones at GTL.
Now that 2017 has come to an end, we at GTL are excited to see what 2018 will bring. There’s plenty to look forward to, and we will remain at the forefront of corrections’ technology, with a focus on educating inmates, preparing them for life on the outside, and reducing recidivism. GTL is proud to be paving the way for the future of corrections technology.