One of the recurrent themes throughout the United States prison system is the shortage of staff, funds and adequate housing for the nation’s prisoners. This is particularly exacerbated in a number of states, such as California, where the average prison is operating at up to two times its normal capacity. This has resulted in the unsafe warehousing of prisoners in open-air bunking situations, where rival gangs, rival prisoners and sexual predators can pose a deadly threat to all inmates in the area.
But some states have been able to ameliorate these problems. Louisiana is one example of a state that has been able to raise sufficient revenues in order to ensure that its prisons are operating at or close to capacity, not going drastically over and exposing guards and inmates to dangerous situations.
This has largely been brought about by the ability of Securus Technologies, one of the largest providers of inmate communication services in the country, to provide great telephone and video visitation services that inmates love to use. The popularity of the Securus Technologies video visitation system has been such that inmates have been increasing their usage by factors of one and two times over the last decade.
This has meant dramatically increased revenues for the prisons across Louisiana, which take an average of 70 percent of every dollar spent on outgoing calls from the state’s prison. This has provided a crucial source of revenue to a state that is often strapped for cash. The increase revenues have been instrumental in allowing the prisons to hire new guards and construct new facilities needed for the influx of ever higher numbers of criminals.
Despite the fact that Securus has been able to provide so much additional revenue to the prisons in which it operates, it has also managed to keep the rate of outgoing phone calls and video visitation calls down to a minimum. Across the state, a video visitation call costs an average of just $0.15 per minute.