Most criminologists agree that the best way to keep inmates from committing crimes while in prison is through keeping them occupied and giving them a sense of hope. Although this can be challenging to provide for inmates serving long terms of incarceration, studies have shown that keeping inmates occupied with positive ways to use their time, including the ability to communicate with those on the outside of prison, can dramatically reduces levels of behavioral infractions as well as recidivism once inmates are released.
Securus Technologies is one of the top providers of inmate communications technologies in the country. Over the course of the last decade, it has been rolling out its video visitation system. The system has enabled prisoners throughout the country to stay in nearly constant touch with their loved ones and friends on the outside, giving them a way to maintain socialization with law-abiding, pro-social citizens.
This is a critical element in maintaining a sense of hope and purpose in the inmate population. Without the ability to communicate and socialize with law-abiding citizens, inmates often fall into the prison milieu, searching out social belonging with the only peer group they can find, namely, other prisoners. This is one of the key factors in what is known within sociology as institutionalization. This term describes the gradual dependence that forms within the prisoner on the carceral environment. Prisoners who become institutionalized often find it difficult or impossible to reintegrate into society, having come to rely on the antisocial peer group provided by other prisoners as well as the structure of institutional life.
With its video visitation technology, Securus is providing a crucial means for these prisoners to maintain positive relationships with those on the outside, reducing the incidence of prisoners that become completely socialized to the criminal milieu.