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Profile Series: Digital Tablets for the Incarcerated


Family Bond Strengthened Using Digital Tablets for Incarcerated

Ex-offender Sean Statzer is using the same musical talents he had as kid to make a living, now working in the producing industry.

Statzer, who has been released from a correctional facility.

Imagine having a daughter born just three months after you landed in jail.

For Statzer, that was a harsh This profile series will feature interviews with incarcerated individuals who have been empowered with educational technology and communication tools provided by Securus Technologies to help prepare for successful reintegration to society upon release. This first profile highlights Sean

reality, that was even harder, because it fell on Father’s Day. Those years, days, minutes, and seconds dragged on. Now, he is thrilled to be back at home with his daughter. When he was serving time, there was something he looked forward to each day that helped keep his relationships strong and filled him with hope.

“My family and I emailed every day. It made a world of difference in my life. It was amazing. It gave me something to look forward to, a breath of fresh air. It was my support system,” Statzer stated. There are many digital solutions for users to stay connected with family and friends, including eMessaging on provided tablets to help maintain and nurture relationships between loved ones.

The handheld devices also offer access to media entertainment and free eBooks and educational resources as well as additional programs. For safety, inbound and outbound communications are reviewed by correctional staff so they can reject and/or report inappropriate correspondents.

The paperless solution also reduces the risk of contraband.

For someone who has been sentenced to nine years, having that communication tool was a lifeline. Statzer was transferred to three prison systems. For three years, it was a 9.5-hour drive for his family to visit him. Instead, at first he communicated with his loved ones through letters, which was often difficult. Statzer says the lack of communication put a strain on his relationships.

Improvement finally arrived when he was transferred to a facility with a fully functional communication system from Securus Technologies.

“Once I got into a prison system that had eMessaging, I was thankful that I was finally able to communicate,” Statzer added. “Having eMessaging changes your focus. It helps you stay strong and keep hope.”

While he was incarcerated, Statzer stayed positive with the educational videos, continuously watching those on his favorite subject, history. He also read hundreds of eBooks. These resources were available to him on the tablet to prepare him for reentry and a better life.

“Nobody cares about my criminal history. What matters is that I’ve shown improvement. I’m valuable because of the time and energy I spent preparing for re-entry, which I couldn’t have done without the tablet,” Statzer said.

He is using the same musical talents he had as kid to make a living, now working in the producing industry. Additionally, Statzer spends his time speaking to thousands of youth from underserved communities in hopes that they can learn from his life lessons and use their talents in productive ways. “I want to pave the way for these kids. I came from the same neighborhoods they’re from. You can make a legal way. I use music as a tool to reach youth. I want to make them job ready, not jail ready.”

mobile app. The software provides instant communication. Administrators can communicate with staff via email or text message to relay schedule information or fill open shifts. Messages can be sent to individuals, all employees or a selects group of officers based on credentials, shift, skill or availability.

ScheduleAnywhere also manages time-off and schedule requests. Officers can submit cover, swap, time-off and other schedule requests online. Administrators can accept or deny the request; the schedule is immediately updated to reflect changes, and affected officers are notified.

Its integrated messaging system allows managers to instantly contact available and qualified individuals or groups of employees, explains Forknell. “This ensures shifts are covered with properly qualified personnel when a staff member calls in sick or if an emergency arises and the department requires extra manpower. The software also allows managers to message one another about shared employees, and it provides visibility of schedules across the entire organization to reduce overtime and safeguard against scheduling conflicts.” SCHEDULING Continued from page 30

Customer Results

In 2017, the El Dorado County Probation Department in Shingle Springs, Calif., began using ScheduleAnywhere for its department of approximately 60 employees. Prior to that, the employee schedule was created on paper for employees across three offices. Using a manual schedule, there was no back-up schedule or online/sharing capabilities. This meant staff and supervisors could not access the most current version of the schedule when they were not at the department. Another challenge, the paper schedule often needed to be replaced and rewritten after continual use by employees.

Now, ScheduleAnywhere allows employees to check their schedules, request time off, and review coverage/staffing needs from any computer or mobile device. Schedules can easily be shared with other divisions, giving managers an up-to-date, live look at which employees are on shift in each location and who is available for coverage needs. It gives deputies real-time, remote access to the current shift schedule. “This ensures proper shift coverage without the need for time-consuming phone calls, text messages and emails,” explains Forknell. El Dorado Supervising Deputy Probation Officer Kyle Heller says, “The response from staff has been excellent. They appreciate the ability to access the schedule, request time off and check their schedules when they are out of the workplace.”

Management has a reason to like it too. Says Forknell: “ScheduleAnywhere reduces overtime up to 90% and cuts time spent on scheduling by up to 75%.” ✪