Video Visitation Helps Facilities Avoid Flu Outbreak

Being home for Christmas via video visitation

Video Visitation Helps Facilities Avoid Flu Outbreak

March 1, 2018

The 2017-18 flu season has been a particularly bad one. It has caused schools to recess in at least 12 states, leading to an obvious disruption in routine. The disruption has also spread to other institutions.

Some prisons have been shutting down in-person visitation for fear of spreading the flu between staff, officers, inmates, and their loved ones. Other facilities have used technology to help manage the spread of the flu by offering remote and on-site video visitation as an alternative to in-person visitation.

Regardless of how correctional facilities choose to utilize video visitation, it can be a viable option when an epidemic as severe as the flu strikes. Inmates are often housed in close proximity to one another; making an outbreak of the flu especially difficult for any facility to manage.

Video visitation ensures that incarcerated individuals can maintain and continue to strengthen their bonds with families and friends without contributing to a potential flu outbreak. Birthdays, holidays, and weekend visits don’t stop for the flu, and having a tool like video visitation available means that seeing friends and family members doesn’t have to be put on hold.

Strong bonds with family and friends is key for maintaining good mental health, promoting successful rehabilitation, and reducing recidivism rates. Video visitation is one communication tool that helps keep those bonds strong and gives incarcerated individuals the ability to maintain their health while keeping facility staff, officers and inmates’ loved ones healthy as well.

Press Contact:
Vinnie Mascarenhas
[email protected]

March 1, 2018 / Blog

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Video Visitation Helps Facilities Avoid Flu Outbreak

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.