National Sheriffs’ Association Teams with LEO Technologies on COVID-19 Industry Action Group for Correctional Facilities

ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 13, 2020—The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has formed an action group with industry partners, including LEO Technologies and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to help sheriffs’ offices get vital supplies as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. LEO Technologies is working with NSA to offer a 90-day trial of their inmate phone monitoring system, Verus, for qualified agencies to support pandemic-related mitigation efforts in their facilities.

Agencies interested in participating should visit LEO Technologies to request a demo and find out more about the Verus trial.

Verus is an AI-based technology developed on the AWS platform which automatically transcribes, monitors and flags inmate phone calls. The system uses machine learning and automated speech recognition to identify specific conversations based on keywords. Transcriptions can be searched by keywords or other data. The system automatically translates Spanish transcriptions into English.

“NSA is committed to providing solutions that support the health and safety of our deputies and inmates during this crisis,” says Jonathan Thompson, NSA’s CEO and executive director. “Verus is an immediately available resource that can be implemented in inmate phone systems right now.”

“No other tool readily available on the market ingests, processes, transcribes and analyzes the volume of inmate calls as Verus,” Ryan Reynolds of AWS notes.

“The threat level is at 10 now,” says LEO Technologies’ CEO Scott Kernan, former Secretary of Corrections for California. “Inmates and staff are at a high level of risk. We also have to face the fact of an increased potential for lawsuits. Verus can play a critical role in protecting personnel and inmates while mitigating liability.”

In March, LEO Technologies noted that 10% of calls in facilities using Verus were related to the pandemic. In one incident, a directed search for the term “coughing” revealed a call recipient discussing coughing on jail staff.

Sheriffs around the country are seeing first-hand how Verus can help. “I was recommended this tool prior to [the] pandemic and took LEO up on a 90-day pilot,” states Sheriff Matthew Wade of Calhoun County, Alabama. “Not only can my investigators not live without it in the course of their normal duties, I am using the tool to mitigate future lawsuits after COVID has left my jails. The inmates are describing, in their own words, how my team is working to keep them safe and clean.”

“We are proud to work with NSA during this national emergency impacting sheriffs’ offices around the country,” says Kernan.