PRESS RELEASE: Washington State Department of Corrections Announces Securus Technologies as Vendor for Incarcerated Individual Technology Services
Released May 3, 2022
Contact Tobby Hatley (email)
TUMWATER — Free tablets, reduced call rates of up to 44%, and a limited number of free calls for incarcerated individuals are among the benefits of a new contract between the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) and corrections technology provider, Securus Technologies. DOC has announced Securus Technologies as the successful vendor in the client services procurement to provide technology services to DOC’s more than 13,000 incarcerated individuals.
Under the terms of the agreement, the partnership with Securus will launch as a proof-of-concept in the coming months at the department’s two women’s facilities. As the new services are implemented facility by facility, the vendor will provide every incarcerated individual a new JP6S tablet, two free 20-minute phone calls each week, four free 30-minute Video Connect sessions per month, and 55 free Stamps for e-messaging each month.
The new agreement is one of the most ambitious technology and cost-savings initiatives in the nation between a corrections technology provider and a state Department of Corrections. In addition to the number of limited free communications, the rate for domestic phone calls will be reduced by 44% per minute (down to $.05 per minute).
“Communications should be easy, affordable and equitable for incarcerated individuals and their loved ones and this partnership provides that,” said Cheryl Strange, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections. “I am very pleased that we can provide every incarcerated individual in Washington State Department of Corrections custody with the industry’s newest tablet technology, a well-rounded communications program and significant cost reductions that supports success and promotes public safety. The future possibilities for using this technology in the education and treatment space is also very exciting.”
According to prospective vendors for this contract, Washington State Department of Corrections was the first in the nation to include both incarcerated and family representatives in the process — adding valuable insight and perspective into the needs of families.
The tablets will provide incarcerated individuals and their loved ones with the opportunity to stay connected by exchanging e-messages – including eCards and photo attachments – and 30-second inbound VideoGrams can be sent to the incarcerated from loved ones. The JP6S tablets will also have a phone app, which means incarcerated individuals can call loved ones from their tablet, eliminating frustration and tension generated from standing in lines waiting for static wall phones.
The tablets also include free applications such as Podcasts, Law Library and a suite of educational and reentry resources to help reduce recidivism. Additionally, individuals can now fund their own phone account and purchase premium media and entertainment services as well, shifting a portion of the cost from families to individuals.
The JP6S tablets are the most advanced hand-held devices offered in the corrections industry, operating on Securus Technologies’ newest operating platform, Unity. Through Unity, individuals can send and receive e-messages, make purchases and place calls on the tablets by using secure Wi-Fi capabilities.
“Our new agreement with the Washington State Department of Corrections is a clear example of our commitment to providing products and services that modernize correctional facilities and offering communication channels at the lowest possible cost for incarcerated individuals and their families,” said Russell Roberts, Chief Growth Officer of Aventiv Technologies, parent company of Securus Technologies. “Part of our ongoing transformation efforts include our vision of providing every incarcerated American with a free tablet and ensuring loved ones can affordably stay connected. Secretary Strange shares that vision and together we are making a significant improvement in how we serve the incarcerated and their families in Washington State.”
Each JP6S tablet has a seven-inch touchscreen with earbud headphones. The tablets provide up to 32GB of storage with a 13-hour battery life and comes equipped with a 1280 x 800 screen. Securus’ security technology monitors communications in real time and alerts correctional staff about potential attempts at misuse – a standard practice shared by all correctional facilities to improve overall security.
Additional details about the rollout of the agreement, including facility-specific deployment information, will be provided in regular updates by the implementation team.
Washington State DOC has partnered with JPay since 2011. Both JPay and Securus Technologies brands operate under the Aventiv Technologies umbrella.