The county and Securus Technologies are ironing out a contract for the firm to oversee the jail’s inmate phone and video network and inmate management structure that tracks prisoners from intake and processing when they enter the jail to their release.
The matter is on the Knox County Commission’s agenda to discuss Monday, although officials said it might be deferred at least another month as officials on both sides work out the details.
All of it is part of an effort by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to upgrade its technology and better manage the 1,200 or so inmates in the county’s three holding facilities, particularly the main jail on Maloneyville Road.
The electronics also reduce paperwork and maintain up-to-date records on the inmates.
MORE: Bid documents issued by the county that describe the what the jail needs
Gone are the old Hollywood images of an outdated jail that serves only bread and water and allows for just one phone call.
In recent years, the Sheriff’s Office has upgraded its services, and the jails now feature electronic touch-screen kiosks and tablets that inmates can use to video-conference with family, order food, schedule haircuts, electronically manage their money, and handle medical services.
The software also tracks inmates and records their purchases and just how much money they have in an account.
The services are currently overseen by Pay-Tel Communications and Tech Friends Inc, on a month-to-month basis, since the contracts expired earlier this year.
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