ConnectUs is an innovation designed to facilitate high quotients of security and customization coupled with expediency. The idea is to give inmates a digital means of filing things like complaints and grievances which doesn’t tie up the whole institution in hours of paperwork. Because of budgetary restrictions, oftentimes correctional facilities end up not being able to jump on the technological cutting edge when it comes to operational provisions. As a result, antiquated filing methods persist well past their usefulness. This is a problem that persists in any big organization, though, and isn’t unique to correctional facilities. That said, implementing fixes for such problems can save thousands–even millions–in a relatively short period of time.
A given inmate will file, on average, 13.8 forms of the complaints/grievances variety every month. At only five minutes per form, that works out to an hour’s worth of time for each one every year. That means 13.8 hours per inmate per year are devoted to complaints and grievances forms. For a hundred inmates, that comes to 1,380 hours of lost time which could have been cut from the budget. Personnel can be shuffled around once such time is excised, and the budgetary savings can be applied to more lucrative rehabilitative efforts. At 1,380 hours a year calculated at $20 an hour (which is reasonable for most US institutions when benefits are factored in), that comes to $27,600 a year. If ConnectUs cuts that down to 1/20th of its regular cost–and ConnectUs portends to save much more time than that–this expense becomes only $1,380 a year, or a dollar per form. Imagine what a facility could do with an budget increase of $26,220 in a year. Imagine if the 2000+ correctional institutions and the 1.2 million prisoners Securus Technologies caters to every year could acquire ConnectUs. The savings are astronomical.