Media Coverage

Michigan prison system launches pilot program for video calls with loved ones

Detroit Free Press – October 13, 2020

Prisoners at some facilities in Michigan now have the option for video calls with loved ones as part of a pilot that the Department of Corrections says it will expand to all prisons across the state. The department halted in-person visits at its 29 prisons in March because of COVID-19. Video technology is a step to “safely restore contact between prisoners and their families, while protecting the health and well-being of everyone at our facilities,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said in a news release. Continue Reading

MDOC launches pilot program for video visitation at Michigan prisons

WXYZ Detroit – October 13, 2020

The Michigan Department of Corrections announced Tuesday it has launched a pilot of a new video visitation program that will allow families to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Video visitation began Monday at Parnall Correctional Facility, with online scheduling beginning Tuesday at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility. Continue Reading

Westmoreland County Prison inmates get free weekly phone call

Trib Live – September 15, 2020

Inmates at the Westmoreland County Prison can have free weekly chats with loved ones thanks to a new program instituted by Global Tel-Link Corp., the jail’s communication provider. Everyone incarcerated there will get one free 5-minute phone call weekly. Warden John Walton said the program started Monday. Inmates can use their call at any time during the week. Continue Reading

Virtual visits to inmates begin

el Vocero – September 11, 2020

Given the multiple questions from relatives of inmates, the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DCR) announced yesterday the start of virtual visits, called video visits. In-person visits were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic to protect inmates, their families and employees of the correctional system. Continue Reading

Genesee County Jail unveils IGNITE program for inmates

The Flushing View – September 10, 2020

Inmates at the Genesee County Jail now have an opportunity to gain a quality education and a new lease on life as they serve out their sentences. On Tuesday, Genesee County officials and community leaders welcomed a new era for the county’s correctional facility with a ribbon-cutting for the IGNITE program. IGNITE, which stands for Inmate Growth Naturally & Intentionally Through Education, will offer educational courses and skilled trades classes for inmates at the Genesee County Jail. Continue Reading

Cambria County Prison to offer free phone call program

Tribune-Democrat – September 9, 2020

Cambria County Prison will soon begin offering each inmate one free five-minute phone call per week, the county’s prison board heard during its meeting Wednesday. Warden Christian Smith said the prison is opting into a new program being offered by its phone vendor, GTL, in order to give inmates a way to contact their families while visitation remains restricted because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading

Jessica L. Artz has been Inducted into the Marquis Who’s Who Registry

24-7PressRelease – July 30, 2020

Jessica L. Artz has been included in Marquis Who’s Who. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process. Ms. Artz has excelled in her current role as the senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration for GTL (www.gtl.net) since 2016. Continue Reading

San Francisco Announces All Phone Calls from County Jails Are Now Free

Patch.com – August 11, 2020

Mayor London N. Breed, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, and Treasurer José Cisneros announced that all phone calls from county jails are now free, effective today. San Francisco County is the first in the country to permanently stop generating revenue from incarcerated people and their families through phone calls, commissary markups, or other services. In providing free phone calls, the Sheriff’s Office negotiated a first-in-the-nation fixed rate contract with GTL, a jail phone service contractor, to ensure the lowest possible cost to the City and taxpayers. Continue Reading

National Award Presented To Member of Department of Correction & Employee of GTL

WBIW – August 7, 2020

Chris Eloiza, the Intelligence Coordinator for the Dept. of Correction, and Gabrielle Padilla, a Supervisor of Intelligence Services with GTL, the contract provider of communication services for offenders at Indiana correctional facilities, were recognized with a national award. The award, from the National Corrections/Custodial Intelligence Sharing Group (NCCISG), an affiliate to the national Law Enforcement Intelligence Units (LEIU) organization was the result of Chris and Gabrielle being nominated by the Oklahoma liaison for LEIU, Nick Chaffin. Continue Reading

Walton County Jail adopts digital mailing system

NWFDailyNews – July 29, 2020

Snail mail is becoming a thing of the past at the Walton County Jail. This week, Walton County Sheriff’s Office transitioned to a digital version of all non-legal inmate mail. The new system is the result of a partnership with GTL, WCSO’s inmate video visitation provider, and comes at no cost to taxpayers. Continue Reading

Tippecanoe County Jail Providing Inmates with Tablets

WLFI – July 28, 2020

A major technology upgrade is underway at the Tippecanoe County Jail. The correctional facility is providing 154 new tablets with limited use to inmates. The jail received the tablets free of charge through an existing contract. Continue Reading

Jail adopts new mailing system for inmates

WTVY – July 27, 2020

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to a new digital mailing system for its inmates. Sheriff Adkinson says he made this decision to help increase efficiency and to stop contraband from making its way into the facility. The new system is the result of a partnership with GTL, WCSO’s inmate video visitation provider and comes at no cost to taxpayers. Continue Reading

Jail adopts new mailing system for inmates

WJHG – July 27, 2020

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to a new digital mailing system for its inmates. Sheriff Adkinson says he made this decision to help increase efficiency and to stop contraband from making its way into the facility. The new system is the result of a partnership with GTL, WCSO’s inmate video visitation provider and comes at no cost to taxpayers. Continue Reading

Morris Jail Inmates to Connect with Families Via Wireless Technology

Tap Into Morristown – July 24, 2020

The Morris County Correctional Facility suspended in-person inmates visits on March 16 due help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Since then, inmates have been separated from their family and friends and have only been able to speak to them by phone. Soon the inmates will be able to virtually connect with their family and friends, said jail officials. The Correctional Facility was provided at least 85 Android tablets by GTL, a leader in technology and wireless solutions for correctional facilities, said officials. Continue Reading

COVID-19: Morris Jail Inmates To Connect With Families Via Wireless Technology

Patch.com – July 23, 2020

Inmates at the Morris County Correctional Facility who have not received in-person visits in more than four months because of COVID-19 restrictions soon will be able to connect to family and friends through wireless tablets. The county jail, located in Morris Township and run by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, houses inmates from both Morris and Sussex counties. It has been provided with at least 85 Android tablets by GTL, a leader in technology and wireless solutions for correctional facilities. Continue Reading

Some Michigan prisons will soon offer video calls with loved ones

Detroit Free Press – July 23, 2020

After only communicating with loved ones through emails, phone calls and letters during the coronavirus pandemic, people incarcerated at some Michigan prisons will have the option for video visitation as the state institutes a pilot program slated to get underway in about three months. Continue Reading

Blocking K2, COVID-19; Sheriff requests county’s help to prevent possible spread

Cleburne Times Review – July 21, 2020

Sheriff Adam King, during the July 13 meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners Court, made requests to block the entry of K2 into the Johnson County Jail and, he hopes, any possible spread of COVID-19. Commissioners granted both requests. Continue Reading

A Good Night’s Sleep – AFOI and GTL Work Together to Provide Pajamas to Children Affected by Incarceration

The Central Virginian – July 1, 2020

Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI) is proud to announce that it has recently received a generous donation from GTL, a corrections technology company, to provide new clothing for children in AFOI’s programs. Continue Reading

Lehigh County Jail finalizes video communication for inmates

WFMZ-TV – June 22, 2020

The Lehigh County Department of Corrections announced Monday in a news release that video visitation and tablet communications are currently available for inmates. Devices have been distributed throughout the jail for inmate use. Continue Reading

Sheriff touts inmate-funded education program

Cleburne Times-Review – May 31, 2020

When asked to predict inmate interest in a soon-to-launch initiative providing educational opportunities, Johnson County Sheriff Adam King spoke of stepping off in faith in hopes of making a difference. “When I took office I started looking at ways to try to get these inmates doing something productive while they’re in jail,” King said. “I wanted to provide some kind of GED and vocational training for them so that when they get out they hopefully find a job, not come back to jail.” Continue Reading

Miami jail inmates get free video calls with family as COVID-19 keeps visits off limits

Miami Herald – May 13, 2020

With Miami-Dade jails still off limits because of the coronavirus, relatives will soon be able to visit inmates behind bars via free video chats. The county corrections department announced Tuesday that it will unveil a program that allows anyone, including defense lawyers, to schedule free 15-minute video chats with inmates. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis through this county-run website. Continue Reading

Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 People, Incarcerated Individuals Included – How Correctional Facilities Can Provide Beneficial Resources

The Central Virginian – May 13, 2020

GTL, a leader in transformative corrections technology that improves outcomes for inmates and facilities, today announced its support for Mental Health Awareness Month. For over 70 years, Mental Health Awareness Month has been recognized in May by organizations such as Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and many others. Continue Reading

No coronavirus cases at Dauphin County Prison, spokeswoman confirms; video visitation extended

Press & Journal – May 3, 2020

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Dauphin County Prison, county press secretary Amy Richards told the Press & Journal on Sunday. However, Dauphin County Prison is extending its service of free video visitation for inmates and their loved ones during the pandemic. The service started in March. Continue Reading

Isolation in isolation: Inmates, jails face new challenges due to COVID-19

Fosters.com – April 4, 2020

Twenty-two hours. As millions of people across the world struggle with loneliness amid COVID-19 social distancing, that isolation-drenched reality is playing out at extreme levels for William Barrett and other local residents locked within a small cell for 22 hours a day. Barrett is one of 323 people, as of Friday, being held inside the Strafford County House of Corrections in Dover. The entire 495-bed facility has been in precautionary lockdown since March 23 while it continues to house local, state, federal and immigration detainees during the coronavirus pandemic. Continue Reading

California inmates granted free calls following halted visitations amid coronavirus fears

KTLA 5 – April 1, 2020

Inmates will be able to connect with their families through free phone calls after visitations were temporarily banned last week to curb spread of the novel coronavirus, officials announced Wednesday. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will implement the measure, which also includes reduced prices for electronic messaging services, according to Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, whose district includes parts of South Los Angeles. Continue Reading

Dept. of Corrections Implements New COVID-19 Protection Measures

Sierra News Online – March 31, 2020

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on Tuesday introduced additional measures to protect staff and inmates at the state’s institutions from the spread of COVID-19. The measures will increase both capacity and physical space at the state’s prisons, which will allow the department to increase physical distancing, and assist it with isolation and quarantine efforts for suspected or positive COVID-19 cases. Continue Reading

CDCR, GTL, JPay expand communication access

March 30, 2020

As CDCR and CCHCS work around the clock to combat COVID-19, we have asked those in our care to make great sacrifices. We have stopped programs, we have limited movement, and we are no longer allowing volunteers and program providers to come into our institutions. We value these positive rehabilitative programs, as they provide a sense of normality and humanity inside while giving incarcerated people opportunities for successful returns home. Suspending programs was not a decision made lightly – it was done to protect the people who live and work in our institutions. Continue Reading

County Detention Center Enables Free Connections for Inmates

March 20, 2020

The Doña Ana County Detention Center negotiated two free 10-minute calls and one free 30-minute remote video visitation per week, per inmate. As the Center is suspending in-person family visits, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community, management proactively sought a way to help keep families connected. Continue Reading

Department of Corrections negotiates free calls and reduced digital costs for incarcerated

KBKW – March 23, 2020

In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has had to limit visitation and programming across the prison system. Recognizing the importance of contact with friends and family, the Department announced this week it has collaborated with vendors to provide two free five-minute phone calls a week and free and reduced opportunities to use the JPay digital service. Continue Reading

Colorado DOC updates prevention plan for COVID-19

KOAA News – March 23, 2020

The Colorado Department of Corrections has been actively working to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the prison system and have updated their prevention plan, per release. Currently the department has tested 9 inmates, six of those tests were negative and the 3 other tests are still pending results. The department does have additional tests available that can be used if any inmate begins to show symptoms. Continue Reading

Phone rates lowered for Niagara County Jail inmates, families

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal – March 20, 2020

Rate reductions have been implemented at the Niagara County Jail to enable more frequent contact between inmates in the 504-bed facility and their family and friends. Continue Reading

At least three employees with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation test positive for COVID-19

KSBY News – March 21, 2020

At least three employees with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. In a press release, a spokeswoman with the state department said one employee at California State Prison, Sacramento, and two employees at California Institution for Men have tested positive for COVID-19. Continue Reading

WV incarceration officials respond to pandemic by blocking visitations and providing limited free phone, video communication

Charleston Gazette-Mail – March 21, 2020

Inmates incarcerated in West Virginia have even less access to the outside world while the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads through the Mountain State. The Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation has banned all visitors, except attorneys, from entering the state’s 10 regional jails and 13 prisons, where, in total more than 10,000 people were incarcerated on Thursday, according to data provided by division officials. Continue Reading

Dauphin County Prison offers 15-minute video visitation service for inmates and their families

Fox 43 – March 20, 2020

Dauphin County Prison has suspended all visits to inmates until further notice as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, but the facility announced Friday that it is providing a free video service so that inmates and their loved ones can remain in contact while visitation is suspended. Continue Reading

Department of Corrections negotiates free calls and reduced digital costs for incarcerated population

KNDO 23 – March 20, 2020

In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has had to limit visitation and programming across the prison system. Recognizing the importance of contact with friends and family, the Department announced this week it has collaborated with vendors to provide two free five-minute phone calls a week and free and reduced opportunities to use the JPay digital service. Continue Reading

Inmate visitation suspended

Hood County News – March 19, 2020

Effective immediately Inmate visitation has been suspended until further notice. This suspension of visitation is in accordance with continuous orders by the Office of the Governor to insure the safety of the public. This decision was not made lightly but our focus here at the Sheriff’s Office is to insure the safety of the public, inmates and our staff. Continue Reading

How Mississippi prisons are preparing for coronavirus

Mississippi Today – March 19, 2020

No COVID-19 cases have been reported in Mississippi prisons as of Thursday morning, but the state is taking precautions in light of the highly contagious virus, says the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Continue Reading

In-person visitation suspended at Brazos County Detention Center

KBTX-TV – March 19, 2020

In-person visitation is suspended at the Brazos County Detention Center until further notice, said the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office Thursday. The sheriff’s office said they stopped in-person visitation after Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration was issued. The sheriff has closed the visitation lobby at the jail. Continue Reading

Metropolitan Detention Center – Video Visits

March 20, 2020

People with a loved one in prison in Michigan are catching a slight break when it comes to paying for phone calls and emails while visitation is suspended in response to concerns about the coronavirus. Prisoners within the Michigan Department of Corrections were informed Monday that the agency’s vendor for phone services, Global Tel Link Corporation, is offering two free, five-minute phone calls to prisoners each week. Continue Reading

Coronavirus is changing life for Michigan prisoners, too. Here’s how.

Detroit Free Press – March 17, 2020

People with a loved one in prison in Michigan are catching a slight break when it comes to paying for phone calls and emails while visitation is suspended in response to concerns about the coronavirus. Prisoners within the Michigan Department of Corrections were informed Monday that the agency’s vendor for phone services, Global Tel Link Corporation, is offering two free, five-minute phone calls to prisoners each week. Continue Reading

ODOC: Oklahoma inmates provided free calls during COVID-19 pandemic

KFOR – March 17, 2020

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and telecommunications company GTL have established an agreement to provide the state’s inmates with free calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, ODOC suspended all visitation and volunteer access to facilities to prevent the introduction and spread of the coronavirus. Continue Reading

Phone service providing Miss. inmates with free calls during coronavirus pandemic

WLBT – March 16, 2020

A phone service is providing Mississippi inmates with free calls to keep in contact with loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak. Starting Tuesday, March 17th, incarcerated persons using the GTL phone service will be able to make two free phone calls of up to five minutes each per week. Continue Reading

Coronavirus: Santa Clara Sheriff Suspends Social Jail Visits

March 16, 2020

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has temporarily suspended all social visits to inmates at the Main Jail in San Jose and the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas. All scheduled social visits have been cancelled during a three-week shelter-in-place order issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in an effort to contain the new coronavirus. Continue Reading

Winnebago County Jail restricts visits over COVID-19

Rockford Register Star – March 17, 2020

The Winnebago County Jail is suspending all personal visits to inmates until further notice in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Jail Superintendent Bob Redmond said the decision was made to comply with local health officials’ directive to limit gatherings to 25 or fewer people. Continue Reading

Two corrections center inmates tested for COVID-19

The Daily Memphian – March 18, 2020

Results are expected back in five days for two inmates at the Shelby County Division of Corrections who have been isolated and tested for COVID-19, or the coronavirus, said Anthony Alexander, the director of the facility. Continue Reading

Major changes coming to California prisons amid coronavirus concerns

The Sun – March 17, 2020

The California state prison system is suspending rehabilitation programs, postponing parole hearings, and halting all out-of-state transfers, the latest in a slew of restrictions that have come in response to concerns over COVID-19. Starting on Tuesday, the prisons stopped classes, rehabilitation programs, and group events, such as anger management, and barred anyone who helps provide these programs from entering prison ground. The move affects all 33 prisons in California. Continue Reading

Jail gives inmates 2 free calls per week in wake of no visitation

The Courier – March 18, 2020

The Black Hawk County Jail announced Wednesday it was allowing two free phone calls per inmate per week after it suspended all visitors to the facility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading

Prison measures aim to keep inmate population virus-free

The Daily Sentinel – March 17, 2020

As of Monday, no state prison inmate in Colorado had tested positive COVID-19, and measures recently implemented by the state Department of Corrections are aiming to keep it that way. Continue Reading

Delaware DOC Suspends In-Person Prisoner Visitation, Free Phone Calls Added

1st State Update – March 16, 2020

The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) is offering free inmate call time to facilitate community support during coronavirus response. Effective today, the DOC and GTL, the Department’s vendor that provides inmate phone and video visitation services, are providing two free five-minute phone calls per week to all inmates at every Level V prison and Level IV Violation of Probation and Work Release facility. Continue Reading

Company offers limited free calls to state inmates

ABC 11 – March 16, 2020

Starting Tuesday, Mar. 17, incarcerated persons using the GTL phone service will be able to make two free phone calls of up to five minutes each per week. GTL, the state’s phone service provider, is providing the two free calls through April 13. Continue Reading

Ver­mont De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions Sus­pends In-Per­son Vis­i­ta­tion

Barton Chronicle – March 16, 2020

The Ver­mont De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions will be can­celling in-per­son vis­i­ta­tions ser­vices at all six Ver­mont cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties. Given the cur­rent con­cerns sur­round­ing COVID-19, the De­part­ment is tak­ing all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to limit any po­ten­tial ex­po­sure to this virus. Continue Reading

York County Prison to stop inmate visits, has new rules in wake of coronavirus

York Dispatch – March 15, 2020

York County Prison is halting inmate visits and has new guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All volunteer and professional programs were suspended as of Friday. Continue Reading

SCDC bars families, volunteers from visiting prisons amid coronavirus spread

FOX Carolina – March 13, 2020

The South Carolina Department of Corrections is taking steps to reduce the possible impact of the coronavirus on inmates and others. Continue Reading

Lucas Co. sheriff implements visitation restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak

WTOL 11 – March 12, 2020

The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office is implementing changes to the visitation schedule in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Continue Reading

Voting behind bars: Winnebago County turns to tablets to let inmates know their voting rights

Rockford Register Star – March 10, 2020

A new icon was added last month to the electronic tablets used by Winnebago County Jail inmates to order snacks from the commissary, purchase books and music and make phone calls. It reads simply, “voting request.” The addition to the jail-issued tablets and the kiosks in the main housing units was made to comply with a new law meant to safeguard the voting rights of pretrial detainees. Continue Reading

Tompkins County Jail Reduces Cost of Inmate Phone Calls, Renegotiates Contract to Provide iPads for Inmates

Cornell Daily Sun – March 3, 2020

Once one of the most expensive jails in New York for inmates to place calls from, the Tompkins County Jail has cut the cost of inmate phone calls by more than half the price as of Feb. 28. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, Tompkins County Jail inmates pay $9.95 to make a 15-minute phone call as of November 2018. However, a renegotiation of the contract between the jail and Global Tel Link Corporation — the company that provides the jail’s phone services — has reduced the cost of calls from 32 cents per minute to 15 cents. Continue Reading