The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many correctional agencies across the country to make the difficult but medically necessary decision to limit individuals entering facilities, including temporarily suspending in-person visitation. On March 13, 2020, in light of these necessary restrictions, Securus Technologies began working with its partners across the United States to provide credits for free e-messages as well as free and reduced rates for video chats and phone calls. Its contributions include:
- Accommodations for 312 agencies at 685 distinct facilities.
- Nearly 2 million free call credits for incarcerated individuals and their families, resulting in nearly 13 million free minutes of the phone connection. The majority of calls are 15 minutes in duration.
- Nearly 2 million free video connections to friends and family of incarcerated individuals.
- Nearly 2.5 million free JPay Stamps for close to 400,000 incarcerated individuals.
In addition to current assistance, the company will now offer support specifically for incarcerated individuals who fall ill with COVID-19 by providing compassion credits, which are uploaded onto prepaid cards to be distributed by correctional facilities. Those cards will allow additional free access to Securus phone calls and video connections to ensure COVID-19 patients maintain ongoing communication with loved ones throughout their medical care.
“The impact of the wide-spread COVID-19 virus has been inconceivable, including the hurdles and obstacles it has created for loved ones to stay connected, especially for those who are incarcerated,” said Dave Abel, president, and CEO of Aventiv Technologies, the parent company of Securus Technologies. “Our organization and our people have been affected, and we are still committed to offering services at free or reduced rates, especially to those individuals who are suffering from COVID-19.”
This move is the latest in a series of steps taken by Securus Technologies to improve access to its services. Securus is currently working with facility customers to garner feedback on existing relief efforts and taking into account CDC guidance to ensure support is tailored and responsive to the needs of the incarcerated community. The company’s assistance will remain in place as the nation’s incarcerated community continues to battle the COVID-19 outbreak and health and governing officials’ guidelines extend.