GTL Begins Providing Video Visitation Services to the South Carolina Department of Corrections
Reston, Virginia (PRNewswire) –June 11, 2015 – Global Tel*Link (GTL), the leading provider of integrated correctional technology solutions, announces that it has provided video visitation and scheduling management technology to the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). Preliminary startup occurred in early December, with full system rollout due to be complete in the second quarter of 2015. The new video visitation services will supplement other forms of visitation including in-person visitation, with the twin goals of increasing inmate contact with family, friends, physicians, and legal counsel while maintaining the safety of all involved.
“Given the link between visitation and reduced recidivism, as well as the stress placed on our staff in order to appropriately supervise in-person visits, the addition of GTL’s video visitation solution helps us to fulfill our mission of maintaining safety and security in all populations while rehabilitating offenders,” said Bryan P. Stirling, Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Video visitation has the benefit of increasing interaction of inmates with family and friends, which has been shown to reduce recidivism, while lessening the burden visitation has traditionally placed on family and friends. Video visitation also has the benefit of minimizing the opportunities for contraband to be introduced into facilities, as well as reducing the demand for correctional officers to be involved with visits. While other providers impose strict policies eliminating in-person visitation, this solution increases the communication choices for inmates and their friends and family members.
Prior to the implementation of GTL’s VisitMe video visitation technology and the VisitMe Scheduler visitation management software for the SCDC, visitation was held in person on weekends only, and visitation slots were offered on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, family and friends of inmates had to travel as far as three hours each way to stand in lines in an attempt to secure a visitation time. Those who were unable to do so had no visitation opportunity.
“GTL’s video visitation solution, as well as the video visitation scheduler, promises to ease the burdens visitation has traditionally placed on family and friends of inmates as well as facility administrators and staff,” said Todd Stutts, Vice President of Southeast Sales at GTL. “The robust VisitMe solution is flexible enough to allow the SCDC everything they want in video visitation and visitation scheduling, without compromising at all on safety and security.”
The VisitMe video visitation technology is currently available from kiosks installed in a central SCDC location that family and friends of inmates travel to in order to conduct visits. This special facility connects to kiosks within the prison.
The newly implemented VisitMe Scheduler software allows family and friends to schedule both weekend in-person visits and weekday video visits ahead of time, guaranteeing a visitation time slot. The scheduler is available on the web, through a tablet and smartphone app, and on site where video visitation kiosks are located, making it easy for inmates’ family and friends to schedule visits.
Also planned for the future are video visits to provide mental health care for inmates, as well as legal counsel. By allowing inmates to visit with mental health care providers and legal counsel over video, the SCDC will be able to provide care to inmates without the requirement of additional staff to transport and supervise inmates for visits. Staffing required for visits with family and friends is also cut down through the use of video visitation, helping the facility to improve operational efficiency and reassign staff to other areas, all while maintaining the high levels of safety and security required.
For more information about GTL, please visit www.GTL.net.
About Global Tel*Link
GTL is the leading provider of integrated correctional technology solutions, delivering financial value, security, and ease of operation to our customers through visionary products and solutions at the forefront of corrections innovation. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides service to approximately fifty percent of inmates nationwide, including service to 32 state departments of corrections and 32 of the largest city/county facilities. GTL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with more than 10 regional offices across the country. To find out more about GTL, please visit our website www.gtl.net.
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Corrections Today July/August 2015 (.pdf)
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March / April 2015 (.pdf)