Securus Technologies, seeking to expand its government payment processing arm, announced that they have agreed in terms to purchase GovPayNet, one of the industry leaders in the space. GovPayNet, base in Indianapolis, provides debit and credit payment processing for court and traffic fines, tax, bail, and other payments. They provide services for and have current contract with over 2,300 government agencies. The reach of their service coverage covers over 26% of counties in the country. Mark MacKenzie will remain at GovPayNet in his current role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Securus Technologies is based in Dallas, Texas and has been in existence since 1986 as a provider of technology services to corrections facilities. Their suite of services include inmate self-service, inmate phone and email service, inmate and parolee tracking, payment processing, biometric analysis, and many more. Their current contracts cover over 3,500 facilities and 1.2 million inmates in North America.
This is the latest in a large number of company acquisitions for Securus, as they continue to grow their market share. The company has four regional offices in the Southern United States and have over 1,000 employees. They are the premier provider of technology solutions for the corrections industry and, with this acquisition, have the capability to process over 4 million debit and credit payments per year. The CEO and President of Securus Technologies is Rick Smith. Their Chief Operating Officer (COO) is Robert “Bob” Pickens.
Securus Technologies, the leading provider of prison communications services in the U.S., has recently received another feather for its already well-adorned hat. The country’s largest inmate communications company said in a press release that it had received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible award from that organization.
This comes on the heels of numerous other awards, such as the 2017 Stevie Awards, that Securus has won in recent memory for its industry-leading customer service and innovative technologies. But the best reward is that which the market itself has bestowed. Today, there is no other company that even comes close to Securus in the number of patents, investment in new technologies or number of customers and institutions served. With over 25 million inmates and their families served by Securus in a typical year, the company has catapulted itself from relative unknown to industry torch bearer in a matter of a decade.
Still room to grow
Despite all these successes, Securus is not content to rest on its laurels. The company has been charging forward with an aggressive PR campaign to inform inmates and their family members about the gigantic benefits of video visitation. While Securus has had great success in getting its VoIP-based video visitation technology adopted in prisons throughout the United States, it still says that there are many who are using the old system of public switched telephone networks. These have costs that many still do not fully appreciate.
One of the largest sources of savings with video visitation, versus the old system, is for families who, as a result of video visitation, no longer require driving hours to a prison for an in-person visitation. The savings go beyond money. Being immersed in the prison environment for the first time often proves a traumatic experience for those with no experience of the brutalities of the criminal justice system. Securus has solved these issues.
Securus Technologies recently answered GTL’s claims that a federal patent board ruled in GTL’s favor, making it possible for GTL sue Securus for patent infringement related to its video visitation system used in correctional facilities. According to GTL, the patent in question, known as Patent 816, was upheld and the decision paves the way for GTL to take Securus to court for the supposed infringement. However, Securus Technologies recently released a statement disputing these fabricated claims.
Securus pointed out that the appeals panel in no way validated GTL’s patent. On the contrary, the stay that the court issued makes it impossible for GTL to move forward with their claim, and Securus is confident that they are not using any GTL-patented technologies. Securus further asserted that that GTL is not in currently in a position to seek any kind of injunction or damages and that this case could take years for the courts to resolve. In the press release, Securus questions why GTL would undertake such a costly effort, especially when the patents involved are questionable and in any case no infringements of these patents is taking place.
Securus Technologies is a major consulting and contracting firm providing services to correctional facilities across North America. Based in Dallas, Texas, Securus has been helping to make prisons safer for two decades.
Apparently, there are two telecommunications companies currently duking it out court in Texas. The first company, Global Tel-Link, is an example of how not to run a business. The second company, Securus Technologies, has recently received the prestigious accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. These two companies couldn’t be more diametrically opposed in their business models.
Global Tel-Link literally bribes their way into government contracts in order to be the sole provider of telephone services to prisons and jails. Inmates inside those jails must use their services in order to contact their loved ones on the outside. Global Tel-Link was recently regulated by the FCC for charging too much for phone calls. These high charges are to cover their legal bribes, known as commissions. They are also known for terrible telephone and customer services.
Securus has always had an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau but they have recently taken the extra step of getting accredited by the same organization. They pay for the privilege, going through the painstaking process in order to get accredited. The BBB ranks them on many metrics including integrity, a commitment to privacy, transparency, trustworthiness, and honesty in advertising. Essentially, they come as advertised.
Reviews of Securus’s services are excellent. Prisoners benefit from the availability of video chats. In the video chats are incredibly easy to use for everybody that knows that particular prisoner. Rates are reasonable and if any customer has a concern, they can call the 220-seat customer service call center. It is the largest in the industry.
By treating everybody that they serve with respect, Securus is emerging as a leader in the industry. It is evident in their accreditation and their recent purchase of JPay. JPay gives prisoners more access to communications technology with an easier electronic form of payment.
Securus’ JLG Technologies has long been considered an industry innovator of surveillance equipment for prisons. Their most recent software, Investigator Pro™ 4.0, is a voice recognition program that allows the surveillance officer to automatically scan all voice patterns during an inmate’s phone call, including the party whom the inmate is contacting. The entire system is then cross-checked for any other inmates who may be in contact with the same outside voice, during their phone calls. Alas, patterns can be quickly identified and further crimes can be subsequently averted. This software is considered by the company to constitute a major improvement over the past method of simple cataloging of inmate personal identification (PIN) codes before allowing phone calls.
Information that can be garnered by voice recognition includes a plethora of important items. Former inmate’s voices are immediately recognized by the system, helping prevent outside orchestration of crimes behind bars. Furthermore, such searchable voice characteristics can be combined with other analysis methods, including high-interest group network monitoring and sophisticated projections of potential crimes outside the prison, being influenced from within. While some critics believe that Investigator Pro is simply an unnecessary addition of costly prisoner surveillance, the chief operating officer of JLG Technologies, Michael Kester, excellently summarized the programs multifaceted capabilities by stating, “Investigator Pro helps investigators uncover gang-related, high-interest and other potentially nefarious activities by identifying called parties by voice.”
Learn more at wikipedia.org about Securus.