Lafayette Jail Goes High-Tech, Thanks to Local Hero

JULY 1, 2015 -LAFAYETTE, LA – Telmate’s Hero of the Month, Jeremy Lantier, feels proud to have been part of building a new, 29-acre, innovative Public Safety Complex (PSC) for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.

For Lantier, who has been in corrections for the last 8 years, and currently serves as a Facilities Management Deputy, it was an opportunity to do something very unique in his career — a role that started as just a job but turned into a fulfilling, high-tech career in corrections.

According to Lantier, one of things he’s done in this role is to replace an antiquated visitation center and video visitation system with Telmate’s automated video visitation system. Now there is far less inmate movement and more security. “When a visit would happen, staff had to go into the housing unit and escort inmates to a secure area outside the housing unit, which was very labor intensive, not to mention a security issue,” Lantier recalled. Additionally, inmates talked over a telephone and a monitor with a video camera, putting extra burdens on the staff.

Lantier said that using Telmate technology plays a significant role in supporting Sheriff Mike Neustrom’s vision to, “reduce recidivism, rehabilitate offenders and reintegrate them into society, to have them be productive, and to teach them life and job skills.”

There are other unforeseen benefits as well, said Lantier. “A while back, we had an offender watch his wife give birth over video visitation, it was a C-section. They took a tablet into the delivery room to watch the child being born.”

Lafayette started off with Telmate stations, recently adding tablets and now have approximately 200 stations and tablets at various facilities in the complex. This includes the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center, Community Program House, and Public Safety Complex, which is home to transitional housing facility for work release offenders and the future location of a secure housing facility for road crew offenders.

Yet another Lantier achievement was transforming Lafayette to a completely paperless inmate request system, resulting in reduced staff workload. Currently, the facility has over 40 grievances in the Telmate system including all general requests, program applications, and non-emergency healthcare requests. Lantier says this digital system not only helps staff, but the offender population too. “I’m not going to speculate on how long this used to take,” Lantier said, “but it was quite a few days, compared to this new, instant, efficient way.”

When he’s not busy pushing Lafayette into the next technological sphere by adding new features and making the Lafayette system work smoother and smarter, Lantier likes to fish and spend time with family and friends.

Every month, Telmate receives nominations in recognition of heroes just like Lantier, who use the company’s technology, day in and day out. Telmate recognizes these heroes by selecting and honoring one Hero of the Month for their dedication and leadership.

For more information about the Heroes program or to nominate your own hero, please visit www.telmate.com/heroes.

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Telmate is one of the fastest growing inmate communications systems in North America currently providing service to hundreds of correctional facilities in nearly every U.S. State and four Canadian Provinces. From city and county jails to federal facilities, Telmate serves populations of all sizes—many exceeding 2,000 beds. Telmate is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To find out more about Telmate, visit http://www.telmate.com.