ConnectNetwork® Expands User Experience with New Photo Messaging Feature for Mobile Devices

Expanded friends and family service portfolio increases ease of use and frequency of contact with inmates by adding a photo attachment option to ConnectNetwork’s free downloadable mobile applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reston, Virginia (PRNewsWire) – March 20, 2017GTL , an innovation leader in correctional technology and payment services solutions for government, today announced an innovative new feature to its highly versatile website ConnectNetwork®. Friends and family members can now send photos to their incarcerated loved ones at any time from the convenience of a smartphone or a tablet using free mobile applications for Android and iOS devices.

“Since first launching our revamped ConnectNetwork website last summer, we have aggressively pursued and launched several upgrades,” said Steve Montanaro, Vice President, Consumer Channels at GTL. “We are continuing in 2017 with another blockbuster addition to our mobile offerings—photo messaging. With this application, friends and family members can select photos from their photo library to send to an incarcerated loved one, with or without a written message. By finding new and innovative ways to improve on ease-of-use and increase the frequency of contact between inmates and their friends and family, GTL is furthering its goal of having a positive effect on recidivism rates.”

GTL saw the volume of messaging between inmates and their friends and family increase by more than 1,200 percent in 2016 at the same time it added new features to its versatile mobile applications. “With this latest addition to our comprehensive suite of mobile application features, and more features planned for this year, we expect to further increase our friend and family messaging numbers in 2017,” added Mr. Montanaro.

This new photo messaging feature aligns with GTL’s stringent security protocols and enhances safety and security at correctional facilities by reducing the volume of traditional mail and postcards. While inmates cannot send photos, they may reply to their friend and family member from the convenience of their GTL Inspire® inmate tablet or an in-pod device, such as the Flex® Link multi-service kiosk.

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About GTL
GTL leads the fields of correctional technology and government payment services with visionary solutions and customized products that integrate seamlessly to deliver security, financial value, and ease of operation for its customers. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides services to 32 state departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and 73 of the 100 largest city/county facilities, including 39 of the top 50, which comprise 1.9 million inmates nationwide. To learn more about GTL, please visit www.gtl.net or our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About ConnectNetwork
GTL’s ConnectNetwork is the one-stop resource for friends and family members to connect with their incarcerated loved ones. Friends and family can deposit money into an inmate’s accounts, schedule and conduct video visits, and send messages. To learn more about ConnectNetwork, please visit www.connectnetwork.com. You can also view us on Facebook and Twitter.

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ConnectNetwork Expands Functionality with Picture Messaging

ConnectNetwork® Expands User Experience with New Photo Messaging Feature for Mobile Devices

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.