Recently, Securus Technologies, the leading provider of inmate communications services, challenged its vocal opponent, GTL, to a game of technological one-on-one. The idea was to pit Securus’ widely acclaimed, proprietary video visitation technology up against GTL’s knock-off, dollar-store brand. As expected, GTL made an unqualified dash for the exit. This unwillingness to put its technology to the test signals that GTL doesn’t actually believe in its own core product, much less the fusillade of empty claims it has shot over Securus’ bow for the last two years.
First to market advantage
The truth is that GTL and other competitors have been playing catch-up with first-to-market Securus’ video visitation product since launch day, over a decade ago. Securus’ lead, rather than narrow, has widened to a yawning chasm that has seen its video visitation system become the dominant solution across the U.S. inmate communication market.
And this is all for good cause. Securus’ early rollout of the first VoIP-based inmate communication solution has saved prisoners and their families millions of dollars while allowing for unprecedented levels of contact between those who are incarcerated and those who love them. These benefits are not measured in mere dollars. It has been shown that prisons where Securus’ video visitation has been installed suffer from fewer disciplinary incidents as well as less contraband and fewer instances of the commission of felonies. This is due to the fact that the privilege of staying in nearly daily contact with one’s family provides an incentive for good behavior that few other things can. On top of this, inmates who stay connected with their outside lives maintain a level of hope that often otherwise dissipates with the passing years behind prison walls. Inmates who maintain hope and a sense of community outside of prison are far less likely to recidivate.