Kiosks Paying Off for Detroit’s Largest Court

GTL’s payment kiosks help free up staff and increase revenue for Michigan’s 36th District Court

by Ron Meadows – Payment Services Product Manager

In March 2014, GTL installed four payment kiosks in Michigan’s 36th District Court. Originally, these kiosks could only process payments for civil infractions, but their successful deployment has led to an expansion of service to include payments for payable misdemeanors. The kiosks have helped to ease congestion and shorten lines in one of Michigan’s busiest courts, saving all customers time and frustration, as well as easing the burden on court staff.

“Time saved by some citizens being able to pay immediately is a big benefit for us, and it’s a big benefit for all of our customers,” said the Hon. Nancy M. Blount, Chief Judge of the Michigan 36th District Court “People don’t have to wait. That’s the biggest benefit for the court and for the litigants.”

Employing 31 judges and four magistrates, the State of Michigan’s 36th District Court in Detroit is the state’s largest court. Most courts assess fees for traffic tickets, bonds, probation fees, and other court-related payments – in fact, in 2013 alone, the 36th District Court handled over 500,000 cases and collected fines totaling over $30 million.

GTL’s kiosk system, implemented by the 36th District Court to handle this significant traffic, has been tailored to the court’s needs, ensuring that minimal effort is necessary on the court’s part to keep these payment terminals running smoothly.

“GTL does the heavy lifting to ensure that the court can focus on other important tasks,” said John Baker, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products and Payment Channels at GTL. “The integration between GTL and the court is seamless. We manage the back office functions of the kiosks, cash pickups, daily reconciliations and the other functions necessary for freeing up court staff.”

Given the success of the program thus far, Michigan’s 36th District Court is potentially looking to expand the role the GTL payment kiosk solutions take within the court. Likely next steps include expanding the types of fines and payments the kiosks are able to process beyond civil infractions and payable misdemeanors, as well as expanding the types of payment options to automated telephone and online payments.

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. If you are interested in entering into a successful partnership with GTL, just as the 36th District Court of Michigan has done, please contact us at www.gtl.net/contact.

December 4, 2015 / Blog

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Kiosks Paying Off for Detroit’s Largest Court

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.