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Securus Technologies is an American prison technology company that provides phone, messaging and video call technologies to jails, prisons and treatment centers.[1] [2] It was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas with regional offices located in Carrollton, Texas, Allen, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. The company employs approximately 1,000 people and is reported to have contracts with 2,600 correctional facilities in the United States.[3] Securus has been criticized for developing phone tracking technologies that can be used outside prisons and for charging very high rates for calls.

Securus Technologies, Inc.
IndustryCorrections, telecommunications
Founded1986; 33 years ago (1986) (as TZ Holdings Inc.)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Key people
Richard “Rick” Smith, Chairman/CEO
ProductsPay per call services for American prisons.
Number of employees
1,000 (estimated)



Securus Technologies was founded in 1986 in Dallas, Texas.[4] In September 2004, "T-Netix and Evercom—two industry leading corrections market industry companies"—merged.[5] In June 2007, Securus acquired the "international brand leader in Offender Management Systems—Syscon Justice Systems.[5] The company changed its name from TZ Holdings Inc. to Securus Technologies in April 2009.[6] During the 2010s, Securus was one of a number of companies which provided telephone service to inmates in US prisons.[7] Securus was partially acquired by ABRY Partners from Castle Harlan in 2013[8] for $640 million[9].

The company was the target of a data breach of about 70 million records of phone calls in July 2015.[10]

Since its inception, Securus has acquired 20 government services, software-based businesses, technologies, patents and exclusive partner agreements.[11] Securus announced in July 2016 that it had invested more than $600 million in technologies, patents and acquisitions in three years.[12]


Securus sells systems to correctional facilities to provide inmates with phone and video calling and messaging (via an app) to people outside the facility. These are generally for-pay services, with either the inmate or the recipient of the calls paying via pre-paid accounts or direct billing.[13] Prices for calls vary greatly among institutions, with first-minute charges from over US$5 to 4 cents, and from over US$1 to 4 cents for subsequent minutes[14]. Prices of out-of-state calls were capped by the FCC to around 21 cents per minute; however, instate rates at many jails and prisons continue to be much higher[15]. Securus quotes US$5 per 30 minutes as a common rate in 2019 for video calling in many facilities.[16]

The company introduced a system to control contraband cell phones. By 2016, Securus' Managed Access Solutions had received approval in more than five Department of Corrections facilities.[17] Securus partnered with Harris Corporation in July 2016 on "Cell Defender" technology.[18] In 2017, the company announced its Wireless Containment Solution, which was developed to prevent contraband cell phones from connecting to mobile networks.[19] As of November 2017, the company reported that the Wireless Containment Solution system has blocked 1.7 million inmate calls from prisons.[20]

Controversy and criticismEdit

On May 10, 2018, The New York Times revealed that one of Securus' products can be used to track the location of almost any phone in the US within seconds.[21] Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has sent letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and telecommunications companies demanding answers on the controversial surveillance system.[22]

The prison phone industry has been criticized for charging high fees and profiting off of vulnerable inmates[23][9]. In 2019, New York City passed a bill ensuring 21 minutes of free phone calls for all inmates in New York City jails; before the bill, the phone contract with Securus had generated $5 million in revenue for the city and $2.5 million for Securus[24].

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Markowitz, Eric (8 April 2015). "Video Chats Are Replacing In-Person Jail Visits, While One Tech Company Profits". IBTimes. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  2. ^ "About Us - Securus Technologies". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  3. ^ "Prison communications company Securus will no longer require jails to ban in-person visits". Quartz. May 9, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "Securus Technologies Inc". PrivCo. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ a b SECURUS Technologies, Inc's Board of Directors announces Rick Smith as its new CEO June 2008
  6. ^ "Company Overview of Securus Technologies, Inc". Bloomberg. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ Connor, Tracy. "'Huge Step': FCC Slashes Costs of Prison Phone Calls". NBC. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  8. ^ Dan Primack (April 8, 2013). "Private Equity Deals". Fortune.
  9. ^ a b Williams, Timothy (2015-03-30). "The High Cost of Calling the Imprisoned". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  10. ^ "Dallas-Based Prison Phone Company Securus Hit by Massive Hack". Dallas Observer. November 12, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  11. ^ Kirk Falconer (December 1, 2016). "ABRY Partners' Securus Buys PHD Medical's Telemedicine Assets". PEhub.
  12. ^ "Securus Technologies Announces Direct Investment of +$600 Million in the Last Three Years for New Products and Technologies for Corrections and Law Enforcement". PR Newswire. July 28, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "Phone Products - Securus Technologies". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  14. ^ Initiative, Prison Policy. "2018 Phone Rates Survey". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  15. ^ Initiative, Prison Policy. "State of Phone Justice". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  16. ^ "Securus - Friends and Family". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  17. ^ "Securus Announces Third DOC Facility to Approve/Accept Its Managed Access Systems (MAS) Technology".
  18. ^ "Harris Picks Securus to Market Device Blocker Tech to US Prisons".
  19. ^ "Securus Technologies Announces the Activation of Additional Wireless Containment Solution Installation".
  20. ^ Willard Shepard (November 6, 2017). "Ex-Corrections Officer Works to Disconnect Inmates' Cell Phones". NBC Miami.
  21. ^ "Service Meant to Monitor Inmates' Calls Could Track You, Too". The New York Times. 2018-05-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  22. ^ "Cops Can Find the Location of Any Phone in the Country in Seconds, and a Senator Wants to Know Why". Motherboard. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  23. ^ Initiative, Prison Policy. "State of Phone Justice". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  24. ^ Greenberg, Zoe (2018-08-06). "Phone Calls From New York City Jails Will Soon Be Free". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-04.

External linksEdit