Duane Mahon – Biking for a Cause

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It is no secret the Global Tel*Link employees truly care about their communities. From San Francisco to Washington D.C., GTL employees continue to find ways to give back to their communities in meaningful ways.

Duane Mahon, Senior Group Manager at Global Tel*Link, is certainly not an exception to this trend.

Duane has been an avid bike rider since he was a young and still loves to take his bike almost every day. Amazingly, he has also found multiple ways to channel that passion into a constructive endeavor that benefits a wide variety of individuals in the Greenville, South Carolina area.

One of these endeavors is the Tour de Tugaloo, a 100 mile biking event that benefits the environmental corridor along the Tugaloo River. Duane has been participating in this event for several years and recently took up the reigns as the race director. As the race director, Duane is charged with organizing 500+ bicyclists and clearing an overwhelming amount of logistical hurdles to make sure that the race turns out as planned. The highly successful event often raises over $20,000 towards its goal of preserving and protecting the natural resources of the Tugaloo River corridor.

In addition to shouldering the duties of Race Director for the Tour de Tugaloo, Duane has also played a key role in the founding of Ride Strong – a brand new event which raises money for a local youth home.

At 207 miles long, the Ride Strong bike event is significantly longer than the Tour de Tugaloo, but given the history of the youth home for which it raises money, the added distance seems to make sense.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Georgia is named for the inspirational former “world’s strongest man”, Paul Anderson. Anderson was widely known for lifting an incredible 6,270 pounds and being the last American to win the Olympic Gold medal in the Super Heavyweight division, but he is also known for the wide reach of his charitable foundation.

In recognition of the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the wonderful service that it provides to so many young people, Duane helped to launch the Ride Strong event which starts at Paul Anderson’s birthplace and ends at the Youth Home in Vidalia. The event officially kicked off this past July and, buoyed by corporate a corporate sponsorship from GTL, the event raised over $8,000.

Duane says that “the event will certainly benefit from more planning and experience from its first running, but we are all very excited to continue developing the event into something that raises a lot of money for the PA Youth Home”.

Duane Mahon is just one other example of a GTL employee that is giving back to their community, but GTL is certainly lucky to have such an amazing employee who selflessly puts his time and energy into helping people in need.

Duane Mahon – Biking for a Cause

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.