Although there has long been a contentious debate regarding the role that private enterprises should play in the nation’s prison system, the fact is that companies operating within the nation’s prisons often provide services that the government simply cannot do or has proven inept at. One example is the inmate communication space, where a few providers have dominated the market over the last 20 years.
One of these providers is Securus Technologies, with a market share of approximately 20 percent of all phone calls made in the United States annually. Securus has risen from a tiny company into one of the largest inmate communications providers in the country. And it has done it through providing quality services and products to both guards and inmates alike.
Although some inmates, family members and prisoner rights activists complain of the high rates inmates pay throughout certain jurisdictions in the United States, the truth is that Securus has been able to keep rates in the prison operates two phenomenally low levels. Throughout the state of Louisiana, for example, Securus has been able to keep the rates for outgoing prison phone calls down to just $0.15 per minute, a rate at which almost any inmate can afford to remain in frequent contact with their loved ones on the outside.
They have been able to do this despite the fact that Securus contributes and average of 70 percent of all revenues throughout the state to the prisons in which it operates, significantly padding the always-lean budgets of the institutions that have hired it to provide their phone services. More often than not, these funds represent crucial revenues to the prison, without which the prison would not be able to remain adequately staffed or supply enough beds for the inmates that it needs to house.