Home for Christmas with Video Visitation

Being home for Christmas via video visitation

Being Home for Christmas Via Video Visitation
By: Brian Deuster, Product Manager, Video Initiatives, GTL
December 18, 2017

Family ties and visits are critical for helping inmates readjust to community life after leaving prison, as evidenced by individual accounts and studies such as one from the Minnesota Department of Corrections. The holidays—a time when distance from family is distressing enough—present a unique challenge to families with loved ones in prison.

GTL’s video visitation allows inmates to participate in family life, even if they cannot be with their loved ones in person. One of the many advantages of video visitation is that inmates do not have to wait in line for the phone or repeatedly call a loved one until they are available. Family visits can significantly reduce criminal activity and recidivism, and interaction with families around the holidays is especially meaningful for those separated from their loved ones. The Minnesota Department of Corrections study found a single visit correlated with a 25 percent drop in technical violations and a 13 percent drop in new crimes once the inmate got out of prison.

Video visitation is a positive solution for families and friends who aren’t close in proximity to an incarcerated loved one. Over the holiday season, video visitation gives inmates the opportunity to participate in their families’ lives—even virtually sitting at the dinner table. Another benefit is the interaction between inmates and their children; keeping in touch has a positive effect on both parties.

GTL’s video visitation options allow inmates to stay in touch with friends and loved ones through a secure system. The video system is a useful accompaniment to face-to-face visits, which many inmates cite as important to their wellbeing. GTL is committed to enabling communication, which reduces the burden on inmates, their families, and corrections officers, and has a material impact on recidivism rates.

Brian Deuster is a Product Manager at GTL. He oversees the GTL visitation management solution and video visitation system as well as the video relay service solution. Brian is an eight year veteran in the corrections technology space and has an undergraduate degree from The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Press Contact:
Vinnie Mascarenhas
[email protected]

December 18, 2017 / Blog

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Home for Christmas with Video Visitation

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.