Yellowstone County Hero Runs Unique Programs that Save Taxpayer Money, Free Up Beds, and Keep People out of Jail

DECEMBER 23, 2015 YELLOWSTONE, MT –  Telmate’s December Hero of the Month, Sergeant Jason Valdez, is a progressive thinker at the Yellowstone County Jail, where he leverages innovative technology and programs to drive efficiencies at his jail and to protect all entities he serves; from his community, to his colleagues and the inmates.

Always full of ideas, the technologically savvy sergeant and 17-year corrections veteran currently oversees three major projects at the jail, which include the Sheriff’s Detail program, the 24/7 Sobriety testing program, and the overhaul of the existing facility access control system.

Working with cooperation from local judges, the Sheriff’s Labor Detail (SLD) is a work crew made of low risk offenders that perform labor-intensive community work instead of simply sitting in jail. If Valdez deems them program-eligible, every 8 hours they work for him counts for 2 days of jail time. “It’s important because it opens up beds for others who need more direct supervision and saves the taxpayers a significant amount of money,” explained Valdez. He takes great pride in having overseen the almost three thousand offenders that have passed through the program since it started in September, 2013.

The 24/7 Sobriety Program is another collaboration of Valdez and local judges that helps keep people away from alcohol who might otherwise be out drinking and driving. Under the program, repeat DUI offenders come into a central law enforcement site and take a breath test twice a day. Both SLD and 24/7 are efforts that have helped keep people out of jail while keeping the community safe. “It’s a great example of how I’ve been able to free up jail space right now,” said Valdez.

Sgt. Valdez is also in charge of the overhaul of the existing facility access control system at Yellowstone, a massive undertaking and time-consuming project that takes up most the majority of his day in addition to all the other projects he has to accomplish.

With all of his commitments to these programs, Valdez says it is crucial to have Telmate as Yellowstone’s trusted telecommunications and technology provider at his facility.  As a person involved in the complexities of the day to day operations at his facility, Sergeant Valdez observed that while Telmate’s technology is superior, it is the people behind the scenes that make all the difference: “If we have any issue whatsoever, there is someone that’s going to answer my phone call right away. There is open communication on both sides and that results in letting me run an efficient facility and to get on with my game-changing initiatives.”

Yellowstone is a state of the art facility that leverages the entire Telmate platform, including Telmate Phones, Telmate Video Visits, and Telmate Tablets, all of which are supported in a single unified investigator package called Telmate Investigator. All of these solutions combined have allowed Sergeant Valdez to stay focused on his mission; to keep his facility secure, and protect and serve his community.

The Telmate vision is to create secure technology that empowers inmates to break the cycle of recidivism, while protecting and serving our facilities and their communities. And this is why Telmate is honored to close out 2015 by awarding our December Hero of the Month to Sergeant Valdez, who delivers on the Telmate vision in everything that he does, every day.

Every month, Telmate receives nominations in recognition of heroes just like Valdez, 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.