Prison technology giant, Securus Technologies, announcing on January 4, 2017 that the company had reached an agreement to purchase payment processor, GovPayNet. The acquisition will enable Securus the capability to process over 40 million payments on an annual basis. The Dallas-based company is excited about the transition and the increased capability it will be able to provide to its customers. GovPayNet will continue to operate under its current name, and CEO Mark MacKenzie says that the move will allow the company to expand its existing services.
Securus Technologies was first formed in 1986 and has established itself as the number one prison technology company in the United States. The company provides emergency response, incident management, self-service for inmates, and many other services to over 3,500 agencies. At last count, over 1.2 million inmates use Securus products in the North America per year. Their technology-enabled service is constantly expanding with this acquisition being the latest in a long line of over 20 acquisitions by Securus Technologies in the recent past. GovPayNet was established in 1997 and aims to provide debit and credit payment processing for government agencies to include prisons, jail, county tax services, and many other agencies. The company is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and services over 2,300 agencies nationwide.
In 2015, Securus Technology signed a Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire JPay. JPay is known to have introduced a series of entertainment apps, emails, and electronic payment in the correctional space. It was also operating in 33 states and was crowned the leading technology company.
According to Securus Technologies CEO Rick Smith, the acquisition would see the company integrate the fastest growing segments in the corrections. To acquire JPay, the company received a debt and funding which was approved by the State and federally regulated bodies.
How the Acquisition Benefited the Two Companies
Rick Smith recognized the contribution of JPay in the industry, calling the company an innovative force within the correctional space. He said after years of watching the company’s growth, the acquisition would help Securus Technology offer high-tech services that will see them efficiently run the modern jails and prisons.
He further added that the collaboration of Securus Technology and JPay would see the introduction of most secure products that will reduce recidivism and offered at best price. This is in line with the current market demands for more transparent and cheaper pricing models.
According to JPay CEO, Ryan Shapiro, the company has a vision of expanding and delivering high-value products to every constituent in the industry, notably the inmate, family, prison staff, and friends. The company focuses on developing groundbreaking products and implemented on a massive scale. The collaboration with Securus Technology would help JPay achieve that on a larger scale and within no time.
Ryan praised his team for the relentless pursuit of the company’s vision of developing quality products that improve the safety and efficiency of the prisons. Even after the acquisition, JPay management team was allowed to continue running the company. Securus values not only their management team but the company culture as well.
Securus Technologies is by no means an unknown company. However, it is a company known extremely well within its own sphere of influence and is pleasantly happy to be known only within that sphere. To say the company offers a broad range of technology is probably the understatement of the year. Their offerings range from security technology that is implemented into our correctional facilities, to offering inmates and their family members access to affordable cell phone calling services.
Securus Technologies is based in Dallas, Texas and offers services across North America to over a reported 2,600 correctional institutions and provides calling services to over one million inmates. Their defender technology is extremely popular as contraband cell phones continue to rise in prisons at the same rapid rate that drugs rose in the early 2000’s. Cell phones are contraband, meaning they are not allowed in prisons or correctional facilities unless directly supervised and provided by the institution to its inmates. However, these phones are often smuggled in to inmates or those who are in holding and they can cause a world of damage.
Securus’ Cell Defender technology can spot and track a contraband cell phone and pinpoint its location. This allows for the staff to not simply find a phone and confiscate it, but to actually track its whereabouts, giving them more intel on who may have brought the phone in, what the goal is of sneaking in a phone and if it is being transferred from inmate to inmate.
In addition, Securus also offers a technology that can locate cell phones and turn off their ability to access WiFi. This is a huge measure as even accessing a WiFi network for just a few moments can cause a huge amount of damage or disruption when it comes from a person who is supposed to be incarcerated and cut off from the outside world for good reason.
I work in our jail and have a very difficult job trying to keep the peace between inmates and the staff. Most corrections officers work 12-hour shifts, but only 4 days a week, where the inmates are sitting there with nothing but time for 7-days a week, 24-hours a day. These inmates have gotten very good and figuring out the officers patterns, to the point that they can game the system and take advantage of any mistakes we make.
When inmates are planning an attack on another inmate or an officer, the sooner we find out and get involved, the better for everyone involved. Many inmates who are serving life sentences have nothing to lose by committing crimes in jail, so that added element can really make it difficult to predict what these inmates are up to.
When we spoke recently with the CEO of Securus Technologies, Rick Smith, he informed us that we needed to update our inmate call center in order to get back our edge over the inmates. This Dallas TX based company employs a thousand people who are dedicated to protecting and making the world safer. They trained me on the LBS software, and me and my team was eager to see how it could help make the jail safer by catching the bad guys before the crime was committed.
One day, the system detected chatter between a top gang member and his soldiers on the street. In code, he was directing soldiers to come to the jail as visitors and bring in a number of weapons. The plan we uncovered was one would try to get caught with drugs so the visitor with the weapons could get by. With the help of the Securus Technologies system, we caught both in the parking lot before they had the chance to meet up with their brothers.
Securus Technologies is a firm that is devoted to offering outstanding technology to correctional institutions. The company recently revealed that it would like to have a technology challenge with GTL, which is its main rival in the industry. It suggested that there will be an independent technology judge who will determine the company with the leading customer service, an expense efficient products and services, and state-of-the-art telephone calling platform. According to the Securus Technologies’ CEO, Richard A. Smith, GTL is mistaken by thinking that it can compare its services to those of Securus. He believes that the technology that his company offers is unparalleled since it has invested more than $700 million in the past four years.
Securus understands the technology platforms that are currently used by GTL since it once owned older platforms, but it has now developed better services. The company gave several features that it currently has and cannot be matched by GTL. This includes technology platforms, skilled personnel, cost effectiveness, products, and patent portfolios. Mr. Smith said that many clients have defected from GTL to Securus Technology due to the outstanding solutions that the organization provides.
According to Mr. Smith, his company has been losing $1 to GTL while taking $4 from them in the past five years. This clearly indicates that the clients’ preference ratio between Securus Technologies and GTL is 3:1. According to him, GTL should take part in a technology contest if it would like to proof to the customers that it has the best services. He, however, believes that its rival cannot match its solutions, and it should decline politely. Aspects that should be independently compared are IT potential, IT resources, calling platforms, scalability, product capability, technology, and the investments that have been made. Anyone who is keen can notice the superiority of Securus Technologies in all these factors.
If you have ever struggled in the past with keeping in touch with your loved one in prison, it is time for you to find a technology that is going to work well for you and provide you the communication that you have always dreamed of having. A lot of prison families are realizing that it is just too costly for them to make the trips to the local prison just to be able to see their loved ones. This is why Securus has completely changed the lives for so many people and it allows for better communication through video visitation that you can do right from your own home.
Now that the holiday season is fast upon us, you are probably trying to find a way to keep in touch with your loved one regularly without actually having to make a trip to the prison itself. Making a trip to the prison just to be able to see your relative can be extremely expensive and it might not exactly be convenient during this time of year as well. Securus will allow you to do video visitation from your own home using a computer or laptop that you have in your living room. You can have a secure and safe video connection with your loved one no matter which person they happen to be in around the country.
Using Securus was one of the best things I did for myself because it allowed me to finally have a connection with my relative that I simply never had before in the past. It allowed us both to connect during the holiday season when we both would otherwise not be seeing each other because it was too difficult for me to make a trip to the prison just to be able to see their face. The technology is also incredibly easy to use and it did not take me long at all to get used to using it when I figured out that it was something that could benefit me and allowed me to have a visit with my loved one from my own house.
There is never a better time to use Securus than during the holiday season because it is a system that will truly work for you and provide you the visitation that you need to have a quality connection with your loved one on a more regular basis in your own life.