Recognizing Suicide Prevention Month – Using Technology to Decrease Suicide Ideations and Attempts in Correctional Facilities

Promoting positive attitudes, providing behavioral health support, and making education attainable are just a few ways tablets are promoting mental wellbeing among incarcerated individuals


Falls Church, Virginia (AccessWire) – September 10, 2020GTL, a trusted partner that connects those affected by incarceration with the resources and support necessary to achieve success, today announced its support for World Suicide Prevention Month. Mental illness does not discriminate based on housing location—in fact, over 55% of incarcerated individuals suffer from mental illness, and there are more individuals with mental illness in correctional facilities than in psychiatric hospitals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide each year, including 48,000 Americans. For incarcerated individuals, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that suicides accounted for 4% (federal prisons) and 7% (state prisons) of deaths in custody from 2001–2014. However, suicides are the leading cause of death at local jails, accounting for over 35% of deaths in 2014.

“While GTL is more than just a technology company, it is through our technology that we are able to provide solutions that help address mental health issues in incarcerated populations,” said Pelicia Hall, GTL Senior Vice President, Reentry Programs. “Within correctional facilities, I have noticed two game-changers in addressing mental health issues. One is the ability to connect with loved ones and the other is the availability of technology as a resource. Using GTL’s technology platform to provide positive programming to aid in addressing mental health concerns across the industry is key. Incarceration is one of the lowest points in someone’s life, and we need to ensure that every individual is given the help and support they need to climb back up again.”

Facilities that have deployed GTL tablets have noted decreases in suicide attempts and ideations, as well as decreases in inmate-on-inmate violence, inmate-on-staff assaults, and behavior code violations. At one facility, the introduction of GTL tablets dropped the facility’s suicide ideation and attempt rate. Not only can incarcerated individuals spend their time reading books, watching movies, listening to music, and playing games, they can also take educational courses, read religious texts, and meditate. The Peace Education Program from The Prem Rawat Foundation helps improve mental health and well-being by renewing a sense of purpose in participants. Breaking Free from Substance Abuse assists individuals in achieving and maintaining recovery from dependence on over 70 different substances.

“Suicide in correctional facilities is a national crisis,” said Matthew Caesar, GTL Executive Vice President, Customer Solutions. “Both ideations and attempts are a threat to all persons involved in corrections, and the rates of suicide for incarcerated individuals are far higher than the national average. At GTL, we provide resources and support to those affected by incarceration. As part of that, our GTL tablets include applications that promote a positive attitude, increase morale, make books and educational content accessible, and help individuals recover from substance abuse. Our free calling program also now provides weekly contact between incarcerated individuals and their loved ones, boosting morale and increasing positivity.”


About GTL

For over 30 years, GTL has worked side-by-side with correctional facilities and government agencies to provide imperative technology solutions to the populations they serve. These solutions facilitate meaningful connections, provide educational opportunities, enable successful reentry, and strengthen operational efficiency. GTL is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, with an employee presence throughout North America and provides solutions in support of 1.6 million inmates across the globe. To learn more about GTL, please visit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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