The COVID-19 outbreak forced many correctional agencies across the country to make the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily suspend in-person visitation in order to limit spread of the disease. Unfortunately, that means incarcerated individuals have fewer options to stay connected with loved ones at a time when national anxiety is at its highest point in decades.
To help keep families connected under extremely difficult circumstances, Securus Technologies began proactively providing discounted and free credits to ensure access to communication services such as e-messages, video chats, and phone calls. These free and discounted services were offered to every state and county served by Securus on March 13, the day the US declared COVID-19 a national emergency.
Since the program was implemented, Securus has seen overwhelming use of these free credits by Americans looking to share family updates and personal moments, and check on the health of loved ones. As of July 30th, working with 398 correctional agencies and 738 facilities, Securus Technologies has already exceeded several million dollars in contributions by providing:
Now that COVID-19 has started to reach correctional facilities across the country, Securus is going one step further to ensure that families are able to maintain connection if an incarcerated love one falls ill. Securus is now providing compassion credits to all correctional facilities, which are uploaded onto prepaid cards and distributed by correctional staff to sick individuals. Those cards will allow free access to Securus phone calls and video connections to ensure COVID-19 patients are able to stay connected with loved ones at no cost throughout their medical care.
These actions to support individuals impacted by COVID-19 are part of a broader effort by Aventiv Technologies to transform operations and make services more accessible and affordable for incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. In January, Aventiv CEO Dave Abel announced a number of commitments that include lowering the costs of phone calls and other communications products, increasing transparency, and engaging directly with communities impacted by incarceration.
In January 2020, Aventiv Technologies President and CEO, Dave Abel, announced an ambitious multi-year transformation effort to address known issues, pursue present opportunities and lead future innovation.
The role of technology in government and corrections is evolving, and Aventiv and Securus are at the forefront of that evolution. The industry is changing, and we intend to embrace it. We will be the change
Mr. Dave Abel
Under Mr. Abel’s leadership the organization is committed to reform, including finding the proper balance between the needs of customers, the corrections agencies that contract for the company’s products and services; consumers, the incarcerated individuals and their families who use those products and services; and public policy officials who oversee corrections facilities, their operations and their vendors.
PROGRESSCommitted to accelerating an expansive, holistic reform of corporate policies and practices.
Since being acquired by Platinum Equity, Securus – the chief technology force under
Aventiv – the brand has undergone substantial change, with a major emphasis on
eliminating certain past practices, enhancing and expanding others, and transforming
from a traditional corrections telecommunications service provider into a broad
In mid-2020, Mr. Abel committed to accelerating an expansive, holistic reform of corporate policies and practices. Commitments include:
THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL EDUCATION
PROGRESSTaking steps towards the achievement of our goals.
In the first sixty days since Aventiv made these commitments, the company took
multiple steps towards full achievement of its goals, including:
We have a neutral stance on the phone call funding model chosen by any agency or community. In all new contract negotiations we now provide correctional departments with options to eliminate commissions or entirely eliminate fees for calls.
- Developed and deployed new technology to reduce reliance on third-party payment services, eliminating their fees and bringing savings to impacted consumers by an average of 30% in the total cost of each call.
- Negotiated new contract with a major county customer lowering the cost of phone calls by more than 60% for over 6,000 incarcerated individuals and their loved ones.
- Integrated commission-free and agency-paid options for telephone calls with both existing institutional customers and potential new institutional customers.
- Convened first quarterly consumer forum with formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in Detroit to hear firsthand about their experiences and how to better serve them which will be used to inform future development efforts.
- Met with leaders and participants of job-training and -placement organizations currently operating inside and outside of correctional facilities to learn about employment best practices and help guide development of re-entry support.
- Signed the Getting Talent Back to Work pledge from the Society for Human Resource Management and committed to give hiring opportunities to deserving individuals with a criminal record.
- Sponsored the Second Annual Correctional Education Reentry Summit hosted by Ashland University and supported the participation of formerly incarcerated students of the University.
About Aventiv Technologies
Headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Aventiv Technologies is the
parent company for Securus Technologies, JPay and AllPaid. With nearly 2,000
associates, Aventiv serves the public sector by applying technology
solutions to make complex connections more secure and simpler than ever
before. For more information, please visit www.Aventiv.com.
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