Oregon DOC – Changing the Face of Penitentiaries with Telmate’s Enhanced Technology and Security

Veteran and Superintendent Jeff Premo is more than just Telmate’s Hero of the Month. He is part of a bigger movement that is changing the face of penitentiaries.

Founded in 1866, the Oregon Department of Corrections has undergone a number of technological and structural upgrades, but one thing remains the same — their commitment to safety and reducing recidivism.

Public safety is of great importance to Telmate’s Hero, local Oregonian and former Marine, Jeff Premo. Having been a public servant for over 33 years, he recalls that he has worked with some great men and women. “Being in their company is humbling for me,” he says. “I made it my personal mission to keep them safe, day in and day out.”

According to Premo, Telmate’s Video Interactive Phones (VIP) are a tremendous help in keeping their staff safe. “The exchange of contraband is highly decreased with VIP calls,” says Premo “making facilities safer for both residents and staff.” In addition, Premo believes inmates who are connected with their friends and family are more likely to refrain from conduct that would cause disciplinary infractions or jeopardize early release.

Oregon’s recidivism rates remain the lowest in the country at 27.7%, according to a recent study from the Department of Justice. The Superintendent believes this is due in part to the technology supporting Oregon’s correctional facilities. In just a few years, inmates have made over 560,000 connections through Telmate technology.

Traveling to a facility for an in-person visit can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and even intimidating for small children, according to Telmate Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Hansen. “With VIP calls, friends and family can say goodbye to long drives, uncomfortable waits and harsh surroundings as they enjoy a more personal visit from the comfort of their own home.”
Premo is no stranger to the importance that family support provides. When asked who his hero is, Premo humbly replied, “My wife is my hero. She stood by me through some hard times in my life. She keeps me grounded.”