Tidal Wave Telecom, a provider of solutions which deliver secured video relay for deaf inmates in prisons and jails, reports that TTY terminals in correctional facilities no longer meet compliance requirements for deaf inmates and must be replaced.
Recent lawsuit settlements involving prisons and jails, which did not provide video relay to their inmates, have ranged between $250,000 up to $750,000.
The compliance requirements are clearly mandated by the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA), the National Rehabilitation Act (NRA), and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
How does SecureVRS® work for deaf inmates and prisoners?
Tidal Wave Telecom’s SecureVRS® system allows deaf inmates to connect to licensed video relay providers via a highly secure system.
Using a special purpose video relay kiosk, an inmate signs in to the kiosk using their prison issued user ID and password.
The inmates are only allowed to access numbers that are in their personal list of authorized numbers.
Each call is then recorded or not recorded based upon the profile that is associated with the number (For example, calls to the inmate’s relatives are recorded but calls to their attorney are not recorded).
The call is then forwarded from the facility to the licensed VRS provider via the SecureVRS® call manager.
The SecureVRS® Call Manager is connected to licensed sign language services via the Internet.
When the video relay interpreter answers the video call, an outbound telephone call is placed to the destination number.
The interpreter then “relays” the conversation between the inmate and the telephone party. (as depicted below)
TTY (refers to any type of text terminal or text telephone), previously the legally accepted standard for the communication needs of deaf inmates, increases a prison or jail’s legal risk exponentially.
TTY has been replaced by a newer video-based technology called Video Relay, more commonly known as ‘VRS,’ that seamlessly relays a video call between a deaf individual and a hearing person via a sign language interpreter.
Tidal Wave Telecom is the only provider of solutions which deliver secured video relay.
Installation of just one Tidal Wave Telecom product, that connects to a federally licensed service provider, will cost a correctional facility substantially less than their attorneys’ fees when faced with a lawsuit that cannot possibly be won.
While implementing residential video relay for deaf inmates in prisons or jails meets the ADA’s requirements, it also introduces significant security threats to the facility.
Residential video relay for a deaf inmate is the equivalent of providing a smart phone to a hearing inmate.
Tidal Wave Telecom’s solutions provide prisons and jails with secured video relay and the following benefits:
- Closes security holes
- Provides managed access
- Records video calls
- Meets the requirements of the ADA, NRA and PREA
Tidal Wave Telecom’s solutions are available turnkey or cloud-based.