This is the most comprehensive website you will find about the for-profit video visitation industry. It is essential reading for anyone considering using a for-profit video visitation system in their correctional facility. "Video technology like Skype or FaceTime can be a great way to stay together for people who are far apart. It is not the same as being there in person, but it is better than a phone call or sending a letter. Given that there are 2.2 million people who are incarcerated, often many hundreds of miles from their homes, it should be no surprise that prison and jail video visitation is quietly sweeping the nation" (p. i). This website provides access to the full report, an executive summary, and a press release. Sections of the report include: introduction; reviewing the promises and drawbacks of video visitation; video visitation reaches critical mass in 2014; why families are unhappy with the for-profit industry; what this industry is doing--major themes; broken promises from the industry; how are Securus video contracts different from other companies; possible problems with correctional and policy best practices; video visitation can be a welcome step forward—HomeWAV and Telmate systems compared to Securus and other large companies; and recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state regulators and legislatures, correctional officials and procurement officials, and for-profit companies . Also supplied is an incredible array of exhibits that include: Facilities with Video Visitation; Fee Breakdown; Counties with Bans on In-person Visits; various legal complaints; and copies of contracts for Securus (11 different contracts), Telmate (2), ICSolutions (1), Global Tel (1), HomeWAV (2), TurnKey (2), and Tele Coin (1).
This is required reading for those people striving to reform the correctional system in the United States, criminology students, or anyone concerned with issues related to confinement. The focal point of this website is an excellent graphic illustrating how the incarceration rates for each individual U.S. state compare to those rates belonging to a wide range of nations (having total populations of at least 500,000 individuals). It definitively shows that the use of incarceration by individual states dwarfs the utilization of imprisonment around the world. "If we compare the incarceration rates of individual U.S. states and territories with that of other nations, for example, we see that 36 states and the District of Columbia have incarceration rates higher than that of Cuba, which is the nation with the second highest incarceration rate in the world … The two U.S. states that incarcerate the least are Maine and Vermont, but even those two states incarcerate far more than the United States' closest allies."
This is an excellent report that addresses the critical issues surrounding the building of prisons in and the transfer of inmates to areas that are demographically different than the surrounding community. It provides food for thought regarding the ability of families to visit their loved one in prison, the hiring of minority correctional staff, and the degree to which prison gerrymandering occurs in the United States. "This report fills a critical gap in understanding the mass incarceration phenomenon: it offers a way to quantify the degree to which in each state mass incarceration is about sending Blacks and Latinos to communities with very different racial/ethnic make-ups than their own. We use data from the 2010 Census to compare the race and ethnicity of incarcerated people to that of the people in the surrounding county, finding that, for many counties, the racial and ethnic make-up of these populations is very different. This analysis addresses the degree to which each state’s use of the prison is about transferring people of color to communities that are very different from the communities that people in prison come from. This data does not address the bias in policing or sentencing found in individual counties; instead it reflects each state’s political decision to build prisons in particular locations." Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; the racial geography of mass incarceration for Blacks; the racial geography of mass incarceration for Latinos; conclusion; Appendix A-- Counties: Total, incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations by race/ethnicity and ratios of overrepresentation; Appendix B--Percentiles of County Ratios by State for Blacks; Appendix C-- Percentiles of County Ratios by State for Latinos; and Appendix D--Portion of each state's incarcerated population that is incarcerated in disproportionately White counties.
If you are looking for an excellent primer on the use of incarceration in the United States, you need to read this. "Over the last three decades of the 20th century, the United States engaged in an unprecedented prison-building boom that has given our nation the highest incarceration rate in the world. Among people with experience in criminal justice policy matters, the “hockey stick curve” of the national incarceration rate is well known; but until now more detailed data on the incarceration rates for individual states has been harder to come by. This briefing fills the gap with a series of more than 100 graphs showing prison growth (and sometimes decline) for every state in the nation to encourage states to confront how their criminal policy choices undermine our national welfare." The webpage explains with text and easily understood graphics: state policies that drive mass incarceration; what's the critical difference between incarceration rates and incarceration numbers; state prison incarceration rates for select states and overall; and state prison incarceration states by region (greater use to least)—south, west, midwest, and northeast.
This brief refers to the "50 State Incarceration Profiles" interactive map which is a great resource for seeing how the incarceration rate has grown over time and what racial disparities exist for each state.