As the spread of COVID-19 continues, correctional facilities across the nation have extended the suspension and reduction of in-person visitations in an effort to limit the risk of spreading the virus and keep those in their facilities safe.
In order for incarcerated individuals to remain connected with their families and loved ones, they must now rely on the use of telephone, video and email connections. Recognizing the hardships many are facing during the pandemic, Securus Technologies responded by working with its partners and customers to offer free and reduced rates to those utilizing the company’s products.
On March 13, the day COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in the United States, Securus began offering free and discounted services to every one of its state and county corrections agency customers. The company’s assistance thus far totals:
• 22.4 million free call credits for incarcerated individuals and their families, resulting in 170.8 million free minutes of phone connections;
• 4.9 million free video connections to friends and families of incarcerated individuals;
• 10.6 million free JPay Stamps for electronic messaging;
• Total accommodations for 398 agencies and 738 sites across the United States.
In addition to this ongoing assistance, Securus is offering compassion credits designed to accommodate incarcerated individuals who fall ill with COVID-19. Those credits, which are uploaded onto prepaid cards and distributed by correctional facilities, allow additional free access to Securus phone calls and video connections throughout an individual’s medical care. The company is also making free calls available to public defenders at many locations.
For those facilities enabled with Securus tablet technology, the company has introduced select free movie and game titles during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been downloaded almost 2 million times. This expanded assistance is in addition to the collection of no-cost resources, including educational offerings, free eBooks, podcasts and other self-help tools that are always available free of charge.
“It is critical that we are doing everything we can to keep incarcerated individuals connected with their loved ones as the pandemic continues to spread in many communities across the country,” said Dave Abel, president and CEO of Aventiv Technologies, parent company of Securus Technologies. “Aventiv Technologies is proud to offer free and reduced rates on our services and we will continue to support the incarcerated population by making our products more affordable and accessible.”
The program is a continuation of an ongoing expansive transformation by Securus Technologies, to improve access to its services and greater support for those impacted by incarceration. The company continues to work with its partners to garner feedback about the situation on the ground. All support from Securus will be in accordance with the latest public health guidelines to ensure that the support is tailored and responsive to the unique needs of the incarcerated community.