Under the new leadership of our parent company, Aventiv, we have worked to make services more affordable for incarcerated individuals and their families. Since January, we have eliminated third party single-call service providers, reduced fees by 35 percent and provided free communications valued at $20 million. And while the majority of revenue from our communications tools goes to cover the cost of technology, safety and security resources, free educational and re-entry resources and to correctional agencies in the form of commissions, we are now offering zero-commission and fully taxpayer funded options to all correctional customers to accommodate the funding model selected by state and county officials.
Among the facts omitted from the American Prospect article:
- • The average cost of a 15-minute phone call in the state of Arkansas is actually $3.57.
- • The average cost of a JPay stamp is 28 cents. The claim that Securus increases prices on holidays is baseless and patently false – in reality, we frequently provide free and discounted stamps on major holidays.
- • Securus has never charged for on-site video sessions – where family and friends use video connect terminals at a facility to visit with incarcerated loved ones. We do charge for virtual video connect sessions that can be done from any location. Securus offers these video connect sessions as an option – not to replace in-person visits. For some families, video connect sessions provide a more affordable and accessible option when costs of travel, lodging and other expenses for traditional visitation are taken into account.
- • Maintenance fees applied to JPay Release Cards are dictated by the corrections agency and the financial institution; the majority of agencies that offer JPay Release Cards do not charge any maintenance fees.
We know we have more work to do to make our services accessible to incarcerated people and their families, and we expect to be held accountable to our commitments. But that must begin with an accurate and honest picture of the company we are today and the changes we are making to be even better in the future.