Electronic payment processor, GovPayNet, has announced that the company has been acquired by inmate technology giant Securus Technologies of Dallas, Texas. The move was announced in early January of 2018 and comes just days after Robert “Bob” Pickens took control as CEO and President of Securus. This acquisition, along with the July 2015 deal to acquire JPay, gives Securus the ability to process over 40 million debit and credit transactions annually. GovPayNet, based in Indianapolis, brings over 20 years of experience in the processing of a multitude of government payments and arguably makes Securus the largest payment processor of its kind in the United States. CEO of GovPayNet, Mark MacKenzie, will continue to head the company after the purchase.
The leader in inmate technology, Securus Technologies, was founded by a former county Sheriff back in 1986. The holding company wholly owns over 20 companies that provide a host of technology-based products to over 3,500 corrections facilities and law enforcement agencies in North America. The company operates four regional offices in both Texas and Georgia, including a U.S. based calling center for it inmate telecommunications service and employees over 1,300 people. In 2017, the company became accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Dallas and maintains an A+ rating.
My job as head of security inside our state prison is a very challenging one. There is not a day that goes by that I do not have to deal up close with some of the most violent criminals in the country, many who would think nothing of putting me down. Many of these violent offenders are serving life sentences, so hurting or killing an officer would not add any time to their sentence, more the reason we have to be especially careful every second we are on the job.
In order to try to stay as safe as possible, me and all the officers in the jail will go to extreme lengths to keep any drugs out of the facility. Inmates under the influence are especially problematic because now it takes a bigger show of force to control them when they are high, and many will act irrationally when they normally are controlled individuals. These inmates will talk to each other about how easy it is for them to acquire drugs in jail, something we have been working on changing this year.
When we first sat down with the team at Securus Technologies, we didn’t know what to expect. Their new inmate call monitoring system was already up and running in thousands of other jails, we needed to see it in action and decide for ourselves if it could help lessen violent episodes in our facility. The CEO of Securus Technologies, Rick Smith, says that his 1,000 employees are committed to helping us and everyone to make the world safer.
Within days of the system running and the LBS software being installed, we were surprised how officers no longer needed to be sitting listening in to inmates use the jail phone. Now the software did all the work, while we focused on pressing issues.