Securus Technologies, the leading inmate telephone service provider in the U.S., has reached the final three spots in the Stevie Awards selection process. This represents the culmination of a contest involving thousands of contestants where only three could walk away a winner. Securus is guaranteed at least a Bronze Award and has a chance to take home the Gold trophy. This represents the final destination for Securus of a long journey that started well over 10 years ago and saw the surmounting of Homeric obstacles, leading to its current station as the unquestioned heavy weight champion of the prison communications industry.
The duality of man incarnate
Securus’ business model could be viewed as one particular manifestation of the struggle between good and evil. But for those less indulgent it is still interesting to note the challenges faced by Securus and similar companies in their struggle to deliver a quality product to two groups of customers who are simultaneously consuming it yet also diametrically opposed to each other.
Of course, we’re talking about prison guards and prison inmates. Securus cannot safely name one or the other group as their primary customers because without the support of one, Securus’ business model rapidly and spectacularly fails. This can be seen in the cases of a few Southern prisons that imposed unreasonable telephone charges on its inmates.
Like a Greek play, it isn’t so much the situation’s peculiarities that make for a great story but how the hero resolves the narrative tensions. In this case, Securus has delivered extremely low cost calling that, with video visitations, allows inmates almost continuous face-to-face contact with their loved ones. It has simultaneously provided guards with a feature-rich suite of investigatory tools, including the ability to automatically catalog and filter all electronic conversations, spoken or typed, that take place on institutional property.