Emergency offerings to help keep families connected include more than 16 million free phone calls totaling 119.5 million in free minutes; 4.5 million free video connections; 7.0 million free JPay stamps
In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, correctional facilities across the country have reduced or suspended in-person visitation to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their facilities.
Those restrictions have emphasized the importance of telephone, video and email connections between incarcerated individuals and their family and friends on the outside. Recognizing the need, Securus Technologies has taken far-reaching steps to provide free calls and services during the crisis in partnership with many of its customers.
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:
• 16.3 million free call credits for incarcerated individuals and their families, resulting in 119.5 million free minutes of phone connections;
• 4.5 million free video connections to friends and families of incarcerated individuals;
• 7.0 million free JPay Stamps for electronic messaging to more than 441,000 incarcerated individuals;
• Total accommodations for 393 agencies and 734 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.
“The pandemic has placed an incredible strain on incarcerated individuals and their families by making it more difficult for them to stay connected,” said Dave Abel, president and CEO of Aventiv Technologies, parent company of Securus Technologies. “Our organization is committed to offering our services at free or reduced rates during this crisis. We understand it will not eliminate the challenges, but we hope to alleviate some of the difficulties by sharing the financial impact.”
The program is a continuation of an ongoing transformation by Securus Technologies, which is taking a number of steps to improve access to its services. 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.