It has long been known to criminologists that one of the greatest risks that long-term prisoners face is that of institutionalization. Institutionalization occurs when the inmate becomes so reliant on and so accustomed to the prison environment that they can no longer effectively function or even learn to function on the outside.
Prisoners who undergo even partial institutionalization often find it extremely difficult to make it on the outside once they are released. This has led to extremely high rates of recidivism for long-term inmates, a problem that has been extremely difficult to correct over the past 200 years of the U.S. prison system.
But many studies have shown that inmates who are able to maintain positive socialization to a law-abiding environment are much more likely to be able to be successfully integrated into society once they are released. That is to say, the best way to ensure the prisoners will be able to successfully reintegrate into society in a law-abiding and pro-social manner as to avoid, at all costs, their institutionalization.
One way in which this problem is being solved is by allowing inmates to stay in contact with law-abiding citizens, particularly their own family members, on the outside of prison. Securus Technologies, one of the leading inmate communications providers in the United States, has been tackling this problem head-on. Through its video visitation systems, Securus Technologies is allowing inmates face-to-face communications with their loved ones, for just $0.15 per minute, on average. This is making a huge difference in the ability of inmates to stay socialized to a positive milieu, avoiding retreat into the prison environment, where anti-social norms abound and predatory and criminal attitudes are likely to be met with enough success to shape the inmate’s personality further in that direction.
Through technologies like its video visitation system, Securus is helping inmates reintegrate into society and become productive again.