Whenever someone goes to person or is in prison for any particular reason, sometimes their families and their loved ones get overlooked and ignored. They are so focused on the prisoner and the crime that they have committed. However, while they should serve their time and hopefully the time in prison will make them better people in the long run. Of course, there are some crimes that are unforgivable and just plain wrong. Some are bad mistakes, wrong decisions, and they can make amends for their mistakes. That usually happens with a good support system and by keeping in touch with loved ones.
When it comes to Global Tel-Link, they are well aware of this and they are using it to their advantage to gain a profit. They know that when it comes to the loved ones, they miss the man or woman that is in prison. They want to talk to them, encourage them, and give them hope. After all, most people deserve a second chance and a chance to redeem themselves for any mistakes they have made. However, when the costs are so high, it is putting quite a strain on the loved ones. They are the ones left with the high bills from Global Tel-Link. They know they are catching people in a vulnerable situation and they have no problem using that to line their pockets with loads of cash.
Just let this simmer for a second: It cost $12.95 for a 15 minute phone call to an inmate. That is not a misprint and that is not a typo. That is a cold-hard fact. It is a sad fact according to NY Times. There is no reason that the loved ones have to suffer when all they want to do is talk to them and help them get their life back on track.
References: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/new_questions_emerge_about_ben.html, Law360, http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-259943.html
Companies offering communication services to different prisons have been overcharging inmates for some time now. This has forced a good number of them to lose a good amount of cash when communicating with their loved once. It has also made it tough for those people who earn low income to contact their families locked in various facilities across the country. Many people have needed up in debts when trying to get in touch with their family member.
With the help of inmate’s rights group and family members’ awareness was created about what is going on in the industry. The issues raised by the prisoner’s rights group was recently forwarded to FFC.
The firm offering the services has been overcharging for the service mainly because the market has been monopolized and thus there is no competition among different service providers. Apart from that, the company rendering the utility has been collaborating with a number of facilities to charge high rates so that the facility can receive kickbacks from the corporation.
With the current ruling of FFC, many inmates can now access very affordable rates across the country. The communication has been grouped into two, long distance and local calls. By so doing the company is currently charging lower rates inmates making calls within the state and slightly higher rates those people inmates making calls to other states. The rates that were being charged before were reduced by more than half thus, an inmate can now call with as $0.25 per minute for collect calls and $0.21 for pre-paid calls.
The new rates have been very helpful to many people since they can now communicate with their loved ones with very low rates thus, saving a reasonable amount of cash. Apart from that, it has enabled parents who have been locked up in prisons to monitor their children.
Heather Kofalt is not the biggest fan of Global Tel-Link. Her husband was arrested back in March of 2014 for shoplifting. Since his imprisonment, she has spent thousands of dollars in phone calls to keep in touch with him at the various jails and prisons in which he has been incarcerated. According to PrisonTalk forums, a typical 15-minute phone call costs $12.95. In the outside world, the same phone call would cost about 60 cents. On top of that outrageous fee, Global Tel-Link charges a $6.95 fee to deposit money into the prison phone account.
When I read this Al.com article, all I could think of is the old days of robber barons and company script, wherein workers were paid in money that could only be spent at the company store, where everything was overpriced on purpose. There is no way that this company should be allowed to do business like this. They are very clearly taking advantage of other people’s unfortunate situations. In effect, they are simply punishing the families of those people who are already being punished. Luckily, this company and companies like them are being investigated by the Federal Communications Commission for unethical business practices. For more information about GTL, check the YouTube video about them and visit their website.
Full article: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tel-link-gtl-issues-inaccurate-press-release–securus-corrects-inaccuracies-300264749.html
Recent changes made to the prison communication system by the FCC, have been applauded by inmates and their families for reducing exorbitantly high rates for phone calls. Even some of the industry’s largest providers have joined the agencies efforts to decrease costs for inmates.
Studies by the FCC have shown that increased phone time helps reduce the amount of inmates that commit another crime and also it increases safety within the prison as well.
One negative consequence however is that correctional departments across the country will lose a vital source of funding. Private prison communication companies bid for contracts by offering a correctional department a share of the profits. The company that offers the biggest share is often the one that wins the contract.
One of the counties that is going to take a large financial hit is San Luis Obispo County. The Sheriff’s department recently voiced their concerns about the reduction to their inmate welfare fund, which allows them to pay for services such as counseling, substance-abuse treatment, and vocational programs.
The county is scrambling to find other sources of funding to cover the almost $162,000 a year it will be losing for it’s budget. That represents a 70 percent decrease in the amount that fund received prior to the rule changes.
The county is just one of many to have undergone drastic changes as a result to the FCC’s decision and they have had to renegotiate their contract with Global Tel Link as a result. GTL is one the largest providers of inmate communication services in the country, and all the facilities that it services have been affected.
Although the loss represents a substantial drain the county’s budgets, it still pales in comparison to other reductions in funding, like what the state of New York experienced when they banned prisons from taking commissions. The state’s correctional department saw a decrease of $20 million dollars in funding as a result.
Global Tel Link, which is one of the largest inmate communications firms globally recently voiced its consternation and concern over the proposal by the FCC to cap call rates. The Federal Communications Commission recently issued an order, which seeks to regulate the inmate communications industry. GTL argues that the implementation of the order will see players in the industry make huge losses, thus making them financially unstable.
FCC’s directive will most likely affect smaller jails, which according to Al.com operate on small budgets. In line with this, GTL is moving to court to oppose the implementation of the order. The move to seek jurisdictional review over the issue arises from the fact that some FCC commissioners are opposed to the directive. Besides this, the families of inmates will suffer even if the call rates are lowered. This is because they will be provided with low quality communication services.
Lack of Sustainability
Inmate communications services providers are likely to close shop with the implementation of the regulations. Low call rates are bad for business since the firms will find it hard to sustain themselves. The services being offered at the moment are affordable, thus negating the need to cap calling rates. Million-dollar contracts will have to be cancelled, something that could spell doom to the entire industry.
GTL in Brief
This is the largest inmate communications service provider in North America. MyThreeCents reveals that the company has become synonymous for its high end telecommunications and payment services within the corrections industry. It offers integrated technology services to millions of inmates. Its innovative services similarly help prison authorities to track all inmate activities. This enables them to maintain control within the facilities.
To reach its clients better, GTL has set up a user friendly system where family members and friends of inmates can manage prepaid phone accounts. Such services have enabled it to become the industry’s most innovative and dominant player. To read more, click on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/global-tel-link/ A YouTube campaign video circulates online, watch it and see for yourself.
Related article: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tellink-expresses-grave-concern-with-proposed-fcc-decision-on-inmate-calling-services-300164830.html
Keefe Group, a subsidiary of Centric Group, is dedicated to “Satisfying Customers with Integrity and Innovation.” Created in 1975, Keefe Group emerged as a conglomerate supplying goods and services to correctional institutions within the United States.
With revenue in excess of $885 million, Centric Group is said by PrisonCesorship.com second to none in its service delivery. Understandably, Departments of Correction and rival vendors have challenged Keefe Group’s service delivery as exploitive. With no competition, their food prices are undeniably high.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections with Governor Phil Bryant ordered prison system contracts open to bids hoping correctional institutions will benefit from competitive prices. “Former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps and Cecil McCrory were indicted on federal corruption charges related to prison contracts.” Epps and McCrory accepted bribes and engaged in corrupt practices which placed an undue burden on Mississippi inmates.
Keefe Group [see, Corrections.com] offers full-service financial, banking, commissary, telephone, video visitation, clothing, supply, television, pharmacy supplies, jail and inmate security and record systems, and greeting cards to gifts, including jewelry. Keefe Group has pioneered and developed innovative services in response to correctional institutions throughout the United States. It is unlikely that small businesses can compete with Keefe Group’s prices.
Focused on corrections, Keefe Group delivers innovative solutions for corrections facilities of all sizes through a “nationwide distribution network.” Keefe offers same day shipping with no shipping fees at guaranteed prices from main or regional service centers across the United States.
For over 30 years, Keefe Group has been the industry leader in the packaging and distribution of high quality products and services to correctional facilities nationwide. According to PrisonCensorship.com, they are comprised of six operating companies: Keefe Supply Company, Keefe Commissary Network, Access Corrections, ICSolutions, Access Securepak, and Advanced Technologies Group.
Keefe Group is headquartered in St. Louis and was founded in 1975. Some of the things that Keefe Group offers includes: food, clothing, and electronics. They also provide commissary management, kiosk technology for inmate ordering, lobby deposits, booking and video visitation. One of the most interesting things I learned (from http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=39055) is that the New Mexico Department of Corrections is working with Corrections Industries to assist with the implementation of Keefe Group technologies. This would ensure things such as secure email, MP3 music, entertainment and video visitation would be provided for the offenders and their families. Not only that but they also launched an MP3 player and music download service for prisoners in 2009, which landed more than one million downloads. That’s amazing!
From what I learned, Keefe Group not only has a lot to offer but their devices are designed to ensure they won’t compromise security. Their ideas continue to progress and I can only wonder what the future will hold!
IC Solutions is a provider of inmate communication services and has specialized in telephone services for correctional facilities. The company aims at providing a convenient way of connecting convicts with their family and friends. IC Solution offers products that help in management if prisoners from the time they get booked to the date of being released. The firm provides alternative technology solutions which assist in creating accounts, voice mails, video visitation and buying phone services.
Primary solutions that are provided by IC Solutions according to PissedConsumer.com include Phone and Web-based Deposit Services, Automated Information Line, Kiosks, Inmate Voicemail and Customer Service. The Automated Information Line offers customers with automated answers to questions that are frequently asked. When this program is added to any correctional facility’s Jail Management System, it can recover and submit adequate information on the inmate’s court schedules, prices of bonds and the date that they are set to be released. The Inmate Voicemail provides the prisoners with alerts when they receive new messages, and they can listen to them whenever they access phones. The Flexible Calling Options by IC Solutions gives the inmates access to flexible calls; Kiosks offer a secure means of collecting money from prisoners while the Phone and Web-based Deposit Service provides a platform for families to recharge their loved ones’ accounts.
The IC Solution has different types of accounts for its inmate telephones that can be subscribed based on the convenience to the user. The Debit Telephone Account is a simple account that can be used one it has been recharged. The Collect Calling solution offers inmates’ permission to call any number that has been approved by the correctional facility and the family or friend being called pays the bills of the call. The Prepaid Account allows only calls made to cell phones and also calls to phones managed by telephone firms that do not give collect call bills. Visit their website IC Solutions.com for more information.
I have had a lot of experience with other companies that tell me that they can help with prison calls, but the best one by far is the Keefe Group. Keefe Group is a great place for me to come when I need to place a call to talk to my aunt, and I have had an account set up with them for a while. The account that I set up at Keefe Group is very easy to manage, and I can use it at any time to start a phone call to the prison. Making the calls to the prison is very easy, and they always go through because the technology is so strong.
I am very happy with the way that the process works, and I am very pleased to learn from PrisonCensorship that I can always call my aunt without a problem. We have been able to get the results that we wanted with help from Keefe Group because everyone in the family wanted to be able to call. I knew that it would be simpler if I was working with a company that made it easy for me to place the calls. I finally found what I needed, and then I got the whole family in the act.
The family is using Keefe Group every day to place calls to my aunt, and I know that it makes her feel much better about the way that she is going to get through her time there. Checking in is important, and checking in makes it much nicer for us when we all get together with the family to make a call out to the prison. The calls never drop, and the calls help us get our voices into the jail because we cannot drive out there very much to see her.
For more info see,
In the recent past, there has been an alarming increase in self-harm acts among prisoners with an indefinite sentence. There has been a rise of over 50% for the last four years. In 2015 only, there were 2,500+ acts of self-harm by inmates imprisoned for IPP sentences or public protection. The rate is higher in IPP detainees than in prisoners serving a fixed jail term. According to the Prison Reform Trust, IPP prisoners are in despair. In 2012, IPP sentences were dispensed, but there are still thousands of prisoners waiting to be set free.
Last year, there were 2537 cases of self-harm among the population of 4100 IPP inmates. Most of the IPP prisoners have been in jail for more than the minimum period they were given, with some serving up to five times the minimum sentence. Danny Weatherson was given a 13-month IPP for robbery when he was 19 years old. He is still in prison nine years later.
A parole board wanted him to be moved to an open prison. This compelled Danny to cut his throat, and the move was postponed. He is recovering in the prison’s hospital. His attorney, Shirley Noble reported that self-harm had become Danny’s way of coping with being denied a release date. Shirley is worried since Danny’s acts could hurt his chances of ever getting out of jail since the parole board considers such behaviors risky.
Shaun Lloyd said that the high rate of self-harm among IPP prisoners is not surprising. For IPP prisoners to be released, they must prove to the Parole Board that they do not pose a danger to the public. Offender managers who assess the prisoner’s possibility of re-offending are few and may only spend some minutes with a prisoner. No one can assess you appropriately after meeting with you for some minutes.
The Ministry of Justice looked into the matter, and Justice Secretary Michael Gove had requested the parole board to investigate how IPP offenders are handled. Immediate action is required to remove the damaging legacy of IPP punishments.