Old-School Grit Meets Modern Technology at James R. Munn Criminal Justice Center

The James R. Munn Criminal Justice Center facility looks like any other jail from the outside but on the inside, it’s as modern as it gets. Thanks in part to the men and women of the Security Services Division, including Telmate’s Hero of the Month, Captain Doug Hughes. The Captain has been a public servant for over 25 years, but his dedication to his work has deeper roots. Hughes grew up looking at law enforcement officials as his role models. “They changed my perspective of what a cop should be” Hughes said, “serving others is just in my nature.”

To Hughes, the most important thing is to provide service to the community of Twin Falls and put criminals in a safe environment until they are ready to transition back to society. Recent studies show that inmates who are connected to the outside world are more likely to refrain from conduct that would cause them to receive disciplinary infractions or jeopardize early release. With Telmate phones, visitation systems, and secure wireless tablets; inmates are given safe and meaningful tools to stay connected and occupy their time with productive activity, therefore reducing criminal activity — all at no cost to taxpayers.

In addition to shifting time behind bars to productive time, Telmate technology allows friends and family to visit with their incarcerated loved ones without having to travel long distances. “Video visitation saves them time and money from having to drive or fly to Twin Falls… That in itself is a bonus”, he added.

Capt. Doug Hughes, Lt. Mike Wiggins, and Lt. Robert Hass oversee the daily operations of the facility and reports directly to the Sheriff and Undersheriff. The facility began housing inmates in 1989 and currently oversees 224 beds. “Our mission is to work in partnership with the community to enhance safety, security, and quality of life”, says Hughes. “Telmate has been a great partner in developing new technology to better serve the public and the people incarcerated. They have been a huge supporter of our goals and where we want to go.”

When asked who his hero is, Hughes replied, “My heroes go back to old country lawmen like Canadian/American Western Sheriff Seth Bullock who turned around his chaotic town into a lawful community. My hope is that someday, our efforts will make a difference in people’s lives, just as Sheriff Bullock did for his countrymen.”