The Lake County Board has recently approved the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to enter into a new two-year contract with Securus, a US Prison Technology Company, which will introduce tablets to the Lake County jail in early 2019 and eliminate funding fees for phone and video visitation, and tablet use.
A tablet will be provided to every inmate free of charge. The tablets cannot access the internet and do not have social media, camera, or video capabilities. Instead, the tablets are a closed-end system, intranet-based, only allowing content the Sheriff approves. This content includes job searching, law library applications, educational materials, mental health service information, jail forms/grievances, and a small number of jail-approved podcasts, music, games, and books. The inmates will have access to the tablets during the daytime hours. They will be collected and charged overnight.
Designed especially for the corrections market, the tablets resemble iPads, but are encased in a clear case. Inmates who have money on their phone accounts can make phone calls from the tablet and pay for premium content which includes additional approved books, movies, and music.
Each Command Officer in the Lake County Jail will be equipped with a tablet. They will be able to send out information and communication to inmates, such as facility maintenance updates.
The video visitation at the Lake County Jail, a kiosk-based system, remains in place. Public video visits will remain the same: one free visit weekly, and $5.95 for each 30-minute additional visit scheduled by the inmate. However, visits scheduled by an attorney will be free. These visits can be set up on-site at the jail, or online. In either case, the visitor must produce a valid identification and be on the inmates approved visitor list.
Securus provides the tablets at no cost to the Lake County Jail. In the new contract agreed upon by the Lake County Board, there is a decrease in the price of all phone calls in the jail, from 18-25¢ a minute to 15¢ a minute for domestic calls. There is no longer a $3.95 fee to add funds to an inmates account for both the tablets and video visitation. By eliminating this funding fee, thousands of dollars are being saved to loved one’s friends and families. The Lake County Jail receives a commission on all three communication devices. The first year of the contract provides for a flat commission rate of $600,000.00 for phone, a 30% commission on video visitation, and a 25% commission on premium content purchased for tablets. These commissions are deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund to provide services and programming to inmates.
Sheriff Mark Curran said, “The tablets will allow inmates in Lake County to begin better planning for re-integration into society by searching for jobs and accessing mental health information. The implementation of the new tablet technology is another example of how we are raising the bar in Lake County.”
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