RESTON, Va., Aug. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- GTL, an innovation leader in correctional technology, education solutions that assist in rehabilitating inmates, and payment services solutions for government, today announced that it has launched video attachments for its patented, industry-leading inmate messaging product. Available on GTL's ConnectNetwork® Android and iOS mobile applications, the video attachments feature allows an inmate's friends and family members to send short videos to the inmate.
ConnectNetwork has been redesigned over the past year with new features that make it more comprehensive and easier to use through the website and mobile applications. "Video is a powerful medium for inmates keeping in touch with their friends and family members," said Steve Montanaro, Vice President, Consumer Channels at GTL, "Everything from seeing a child walk for the first time to singing 'Happy Birthday' can be shared with an inmate. We believe this increased connection will have a meaningful impact on recidivism rates."
The new video attachment feature meets the corrections industry's strictest security protocols, and videos are reviewed by facility staff before being released to an inmate. Videos can range from ten seconds to a minute in length, depending on what a facility chooses to allow. While inmates cannot send videos or photos, they are able to use their inmate messaging account to respond with email-like messages from the convenience of their GTL Inspire® inmate tablet or an in-pod device, such as the Flex® Link multi-service station.
Inspire tablets and Flex Link stations allow a greater amount of communication between inmates and their loved ones, not only through messages but also phone calls. In addition, these devices offer inmates the ability to complete education courses, read e-Books, stream music, play games, and much more. Tablets and Flex Link stations serve the dual purpose of enabling communication while also helping with the rehabilitation of inmates, leading to lower recidivism rates.
"We have used GTL's inmate messaging product for several months and have been incredibly impressed with the service," said Captain Sean Stewart of the Pima County Sheriff's Department Corrections Bureau. "We recently added photo attachments and now video attachments and have seen a great response from our inmate population. Inmates that are occupied sending messages and communicating with loved ones are inmates who are not causing trouble for corrections officers and other inmates."
"With that said, I believe it is obvious that electronic messaging is an excellent tool for maintaining a safe and secure facility. Electronic messaging is not an inmate email system. The facility has total control over what communication comes in and what goes out, unlike traditional mail. I can guarantee there isn't any contraband coming in the facility through the messaging product being provided by GTL," concluded Captain Stewart.
The ability for inmates to send email-like messages to friends and family members is no longer just a "nice feature to have" in correctional facilities – it's becoming an operational necessity. "GTL's inmate messaging solution allows facilities to become safer and more secure," said Kelly Lindman, GTL Product Manager, Inmate Services Platforms. "Traditional mail is being laced with drugs – making for an unsafe environment for both staff and inmates. By offering an electronic messaging alternative, it may reduce the overall mail volume, and it affords staff the opportunity to examine traditional mail more thoroughly."
GTL holds nine patents on its inmate messaging product and has another six patents pending. GTL was recently granted U.S. Patent No. 9,667,663 for a key security feature that forwards messages for security review and then transmits them to authorized recipients. GTL diligently works to maintain its position as the corrections industry leader.
GTL's entire solution suite will be showcased from August 20–22 in booth 301 at the American Correctional Association's 147th Congress of Correction in St. Louis, Missouri. GTL will also have its Technology in Motion tour vehicle on display inside the exposition hall at the ACA conference. The Technology in Motion vehicle includes the latest hardware, software, and connectivity to enable comprehensive hands-on demonstrations of the full range of offerings for the corrections, education, and government sectors.
GTL leads the fields of correctional technology, education, and government payment services with visionary solutions and customized products that integrate seamlessly to deliver security, financial value, and operational efficiencies while aiding inmate rehabilitation and reducing recidivism rates. With the recent acquisition of Telmate, GTL has strengthened its suite of solutions for the corrections industry and expanded its community corrections portfolio with Telmate Guardian, a smartphone-based GPS monitoring solution. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides services to over 2 million inmates in more than 2,500 correctional facilities in the United States and Canada, including 33 U.S. departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and many large city/county/provincial facilities. GTL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with an employee presence throughout North America. To learn more about GTL, please visit www.gtl.net or our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
GTL's ConnectNetwork is the one-stop resource for friends and family members to connect with their incarcerated loved ones. Friends and family can deposit money into an inmate's accounts, schedule and conduct video visits, and send messages. To learn more about ConnectNetwork, please visit www.connectnetwork.com or social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.
Press Contact: Vinnie Mascarenhas