Here is the latest summary of recent news articles regarding contraband cell phones in prisons around the world. I call these periodic round up of news items, “Wireless Prison Payphone™ Briefs” because this is essentially what smuggled mobile phones in jails have become – a substitute for the current wall mounted prison payphones.
In this edition, we explore some of the recent news regarding prison tablet devices and how they highlight what we have been promoting for some time now – prison payphones will be replaced by a secure prison device with cell phone capabilities that will reduce the demand for contraband cell phones. Regardless of whether the device takes the form factor of a tablet or a cell phone, wireless voice capabilities will be the key service offering in reducing contraband and recidivism.
- A spokesperson for the correctional technology company GTL, says some jails and prisons are even replacing wall phones with secure tablets that inmates can use not only to make calls, but also for education, entertainment and scheduling. “This is a trend that has only just begun to take shape,” he says. (Source)
- “This is what’s going to replace phones eventually,” the JPay founder told Yahoo Tech. “There are going to be major changes within the prison system environment because of this technology.” (Source)
- Securus Technologies announced today that distribution of its SecureView inmate tablet will top 2,000 units. “Through our initial tablet program, inmates overwhelmingly enjoy the privacy the tablet gives them for phone calls along with the games, music, and access to information such as Law Library and JobView,” (Source)
- “We believe that the Inspire devices are the future of inmate communications, education and entertainment,” said GTL’s chief marketing officer. “They improve a facility’s operational efficiencies by reducing costs and conflicts over access to phones, and have nearly limitless educational possibilities.” The company has already launched its wireless tablet technology in correctional facilities. Alameda County, Calif. currently operates one of the largest deployments of correctional wireless tablet technology in the country, according to GTL, and allows inmates to place calls of up to four hours in length directly from their jail cell. This ability to maintain communication and connection with friends and family has been linked to a reduction in recidivism. (Source)
- Companies with their exclusive focus on education and rehabilitation, are relying on economies of scale and the power of disruption to make a profit while bringing down the cost of technology and communication services. At scale, tablets can be provided at very low cost to facilities. Inmates pay no fees for the content. And there’s no technical barrier to someday replacing expensive telephone calls with much cheaper tablet-based broadband phone service. (Source)
- “At this juncture, we are not persuaded that Wi-Fi is an acceptably secure solution,” said the CEO of America Prison Data Systems in New York City, which helped San Francisco roll out 200 tablet computers at its jail last October. “That time may come down the road, but for now we know Wi-Fi is less secure.” (Source)
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