Offender Calls and Convenience Increase at Vigo County Community Corrections
Securus Technologies Offers Affordable Option to Replace Collect Calls and Phone Cards
DALLAS, Texas (August 1, 2019) – Keeping in touch with your loved one at Vigo County Community Corrections, a work release center in Terre Haute, Indiana, was a lot more complicated than just dialing a phone number. The old system relied on collect calls and phone cards, which drained both money and time. “There’s only me and one other staff person who handle Incarcerated Individual trust accounts. So, it was taxing having to handle transactions for phone cards. It interrupted our work. I’m sure it was also a financial struggle for Incarcerated Individuals,” said Laura Fagin, Deputy Director of Administration. The work-release facility turned to Securus Technologies for a better solution. Vigo County Community Corrections has been using Securus products since 2005. Communications management is an essential factor to most facility operations. It affects safety, population management, as well as overcrowding and has a direct impact on Incarcerated Individuals, family and friends, and staff well-being. “Incarcerated Individuals had to wait to purchase calling cards because of our staff being busy with other duties. With Securus, friends and families can simply go to the web to fund calls,” Fagin added. Fagin explains that web access is a huge convenience for friends and family, especially those who live out of town, since they do not have to visit the facility to deposit funds into the account. “Now Incarcerated Individuals use the phone more often. With collect, they only had 15 minutes and a lump fee,” stated Fagin. “Our facility’s incarcerated population is able to call family more, let them know if they got a job and keep them updated on their lives.” Another convenience is that incarcerated individuals can call their employers if they cannot show up for work; whereas, that situation was difficult when the population relied on collect calls. “Incarcerated Individuals can call and say, ‘I’m going to be in lockdown, so can’t go to work.’ They are also able to call temp agencies to hear what jobs are available, which has helped with the employment rate,” Fagin said. “The possibility of getting a job helps our population with their outlook on life. So, they know that the resources are there and not costing them as much money to make that call.” A Manhattan Institute report on a random sample of ex-offenders revealed how motivation to find employment not only brings about positive change in their lives but also in the community. “Enhanced job-readiness training and job-search assistance helped reduce recidivism among non-violent ex-offenders by one-third, with rearrests dropping from 52% to 35%,” the report revealed. Other studies show that keeping in touch with your loved ones, while incarcerated, also helps recidivism. “The Securus system has absolutely helped Incarcerated Individuals stay connected to family and friends. Incarcerated Individuals call home to talk to kids to say goodnight,” Fagin added. While Vigo County Community Corrections works towards helping the incarcerated prepare for reentry, another focus is to help keep the community stay safe. “Someone called our facility and made complaints. An Incarcerated Individual’s girlfriend was receiving harassing calls from our incarcerated. With our newest platform, the system searched for phone numbers and pinpointed that multiple accounts were being used to call the same number,” Fagin revealed. The ability to monitor calls is one of the features of Securus’ communications and management platform. The platform helps law enforcement and corrections solve and prevent crime by identifying patterns and gives real time alerts. Securus Technologies investigative features provide one of the first investigative intersections of Incarcerated Individual management and call management systems in the industry. “Through our platform, we learned that Incarcerated Individuals were using other people’s PINs. We then blocked the phone number that was being called to end the harassment,” concluded Fagin.