Las Cruces, NM, July 20, 2009 – In a joint venture to streamline operations and enhance public safety, ARAMARK Correctional Services (ACS) and the Dona Ana County Detention Center announce the roll-out of a technology partnership that will serve a dual purpose of providing on-site staff with key inmate behavior management tools while boosting correctional officer morale. The announcement coincides with the 10-year anniversary of when Dona Ana’s detention officials selected ACS as their service provider.
To provide administrative efficiencies in accepting deposits into inmate trust funds and providing commissary services to those incarcerated, ACS’ technology-based solutions: iCare™, Go-Cart™ and TouchPay™ went live at the 900-bed facility. Dona Ana officials anticipate the programs will free up time for the correctional officers and allow them to focus on maintaining public safety and security. Additionally, the programs take Dona Ana another step closer to operating as a paperless facility.
“The iCare™, Go-Cart™ and TouchPay™ systems are great additions to our facility and have advanced my goals to enhance public safety and staff morale,” said Chris Barela, Director of Detention at Dona Ana. “All three will alleviate stress by creating more efficient processes for providing inmate services. Less stress means less acting-out and a safer environment for officers and other staff and inmates. I also think both our facility’s population and their families will find the implementation of these new programs will make it easier to communicate and transact business on a daily basis within a safe and secure facility.”
ACS’ iCare™ program allows inmates’ loved ones to order gift bags online. The bags can be full of popular snack items, coffee, soup, stationary, personal hygiene items, and other name brand items. The program also gives loved ones the capability to provide fresh meals to inmates with ACS’ freshfavorites™ via iCareTM™ program. Since only inmates in good standing can receive an iCare™ gift bag, the program promotes better inmate behavior, reducing stress for the facility’s staff.
Go-Cart™ is a mobile merchandising system that allows inmates to buy snacks and convenience items immediately through an electronic scan system that automatically deducts from inmate trust fund accounts. This solution reduces the time and labor needed to process traditional commissary orders.
Lastly, ACS’ partnership with TouchPay™ allows friends and family members to electronically deposit money – online, over the phone or via lobby kiosk – into an inmate’s trust fund account. Before TouchPay™ technology was introduced to ACS accounts loved ones had to take time off from work to travel to the facility during business hours to deposit funds. This remote deposit capability makes it easier to stay connected, and allows the facility to free up staff resources to focus on more critical tasks.
“For the past 10 years, we have enjoyed a strong business partnership with Dona Ana County and detention center officials,” said Glenn Hamlett, Great Southwest District Manager for ACS. “When Director Barela came to our staff with the challenge of providing the families and loved ones of the inmates more convenient ways to stay in touch, we were happy to help. Provided at no cost to taxpayers, the technology applications we are now managing with Dona Ana County provide family, friends and loved ones of those who are incarcerated, with state of the art, convenient, environmentally-friendly solutions for the detention center.”
About ARAMARK Corrections
Through its Correctional Services group, ARAMARK provides a wide range of food, facility and other support solutions to more than 600 correctional facilities in North America. ACS prepares 380,000,000 meals annually and offers state, county and city correctional facilities a single source provider for food service management, commissary services, inmate training, laundry management, facilities management and community-based Meals on Wheels programs. With nearly 30 years experience serving Corrections, Public Safety and Community Services institutions, ACS is the oldest and largest provider of managed service solutions in these markets.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.