A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Being home for Christmas via video visitation

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Kelly Lindman, Director of Product Management, Customer Channels at GTL.
January 10, 2018

As a parent, I know there is nothing better than waking up and seeing your children’s smiling faces. Unfortunately, inmates are not able to experience this joy. But with GTL’s Messaging application, it is now possible for inmates to receive on GTL tablet devices messages, photos, and short videos from friends and family members. Family and friends can use their smartphones or tablets to send these messages to their incarcerated loved ones at any time and from any place with the convenience of mobile applications for Android and iOS devices.

We have all seen how technological advancements impact our daily communication, with emails, texts, and new applications sometimes replacing traditional phone calls. At GTL, we continually work on ways of extending these advancement to the corrections environment.

With GTL Tablet devices, inmates can look at their photos and videos anytime, just like we all do on our smartphones. While printed photos may be damaged or stolen, GTL Tablet devices give inmates a safe and private way to view their mementos.

GTL implemented photo and video attachments in the Spring of 2017, and more than 140,000 images have been sent though our system in just seven months. Captain Sean Stewart of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Bureau, has seen the value of GTL’s messaging system firsthand. He recently told us, “We have used GTL’s inmate messaging product for several months and have been incredibly impressed with the service.” Captain Stewart said, “We recently added photo attachments and video attachments and have seen a great response from our inmate population. Inmates that are occupied sending messages and communicating with loved ones are inmates who are not causing trouble for corrections officers and other inmates.”

“With that said, I believe it is obvious that electronic messaging is an excellent tool for maintaining a safe and secure facility. Electronic messaging is not an inmate email system. The facility has total control over what communication comes in and what goes out. I can guarantee there isn’t any contraband coming in the facility through the messaging product being provided by GTL,” concluded Captain Stewart. To watch and learn more about how GTL’s Inspire® and offerings such as photo and video messaging have changed the correctional ecosystem for Pima County, watch this Arizona Public Media segment.

Kelly Lindman is a Director of Product Management and Customer Channels at GTL. She recently managed the inmate efficiency applications as well as the subscription service applications for the GTL Inspire® tablet program. Kelly has an undergraduate degree from Wright State University.

Press Contact:
Vinnie Mascarenhas
[email protected]

January 10, 2018 / Blog

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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.