I believe that we, as a society, should be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable groups of people. America shouldn’t be judged by how we treat our rich and famous, but rather by how we treat the elderly, the sick, the voiceless and the downtrodden. One of the most vulnerable populations that we have here in the United States is our prison population.
Prisoners are people, and they should be treated with respect. Unfortunately, they are not always treated with the respect they deserve. Let’s just take a look at the telecommunications companies that serve the prison population as an example.
A company named Global Tel-Link recently made the news for treating prisoners poorly. Global Tel-Link gets its hands on government contracts to become the only company that can supply a prison with its telecommunications services. Once the contract is secure, the prisoner must pay Global Tel-Link to make a phone call to a loved one. Global Tel-Link takes advantage of the fact that prisoners are people with loved ones by jacking up prices on these phone calls. Human beings need connection and Global Tel-Link is abusing that need.
Securus Technologies, Global Tel-Link’s main competitor in the industry, takes a different route. They choose to treat their prisoners with respect. They offer superior call quality, video chat services, good prices and an easy way to pay online. They allow prisoners to connect with the outside world. Studies show that this connection actually reduces recidivism to make us all safer.
Securus also aids law enforcement in keeping prisons safer. Securus uses the digital data of calls and video chats to glean information to leads violence prevention. The technology has been known to stop the flow of weapons, alcohol and drugs into certain prisons to make the environment safer for this very vulnerable population.