With discussions on the lives of prisoners and the privatization our criminal justice system being in the mainstream, it is easy to assume we have already heard all the stories. At least, I thought I did. Having heard about the exploitation of inmate labor, I was still surprised to learn this interesting fact: collect calls made between inmates and the outside world are charged at surprisingly higher rates than for similar calls made outside of prison. This is often at the expense of their loved ones.
Since the 1990s, the prison phone system has been controlled by private companies who exercise control over the rates and fees that can be charged for phone calls. One company ,in particular, has been at the heart of the growing controversy around this practice. Global Tel Link is one of the big players in the prison communications industry, responsible for millions of calls. As discovered by the podcast, Serial, and reported by the Consumerist, GTL’s 89 cents a minute plus a nearly $4 dollar call charge was among the highest rates in the industry.
In a report by PR news, Global Tel-Link has been scrutinized by the FCC and has been the subject of class action lawsuits. If exorbitant prices were not enough, the company has been accused of conducting smear campaigns, altering calls so that billing starts before a call is picked up, and billing calls more than once. Global Tel-Link currently serves prisons all over the country. To read the company review, go to mythreecents.com.
It is always important for you to ensure you keep in touch with your loved one or even friend in case they are in a correction facility. This will be the only way for you to know how they are doing and also be in a position to share. The inmate will also feel loved and cared for in case you constantly visit or call them. IC Solutions is one of the most reliable communication service provider for inmates to help you get in touch with them. The inmates are also in a position to receive services since the day they were booked until their release date. You will be able to create an account with them, make phone calls to the inmate, leave voice messages and even chat using video visitation with the inmate.
There are different jail phone services offered by IC Solutions to its customers such as the automated line which helps you get information on any frequently asked questions. In case the line is connected to the jail’s systems, you will be able to find out how the inmate is doing and their release date. They have also located kiosks in correction facilities to ensure money from new inmates is collected in a safe manner. Since inmates do not have access to the phones all the time, you can decide to leave them voice messages which they will listen to when they get time.
IC Solutions has been very helpful to correctional facilities, inmates as well as their families. There are different types of accounts you can create to help you get and remain in touch with the inmate. IC Solutions has also come up with a new method of communication which will be through video screen. In this way, there will be more visitors for the inmates throughout the week.
Keefe Group has become a prominent firm due to the exceptional vending services it provides to inmates in correctional facilities. Keefe has expanded over the years and has managed to offer its services to almost all prisons in the United States. One of the key officials who have managed to make this company one of the leading service providers is Mr. Jack Donnelley. The company has managed to acquire other companies under its umbrella such as G.T Enterprise, previously owned by Cecil McCrory. Acquisition of G.T Enterprise is a clear indication that the firm is committed to addressing the special needs of its clients. For decades, Keefe Group has managed to offer jobs to hundreds of people countrywide.
Services offered by Keefe Group
According to the Dispatch, this company has managed to get major contracts thereby maximizing their profits. It has made lives a bit easier in prisons. Inmates now have access to items like tobacco, which they can smoke to cool their nerves and pass time. With the provision of electronic equipment for example MP3, inmates can now download the latest music thereby keeping up with the music trending in the outside world. Well-packaged healthy foods, such as candy bars have been made available for inmates at the prisons’ canteen. Personal hygienic products (combs) that were previously not issued at the prisons are now vended at affordable prices.
Thanks to Keefe Group, harmony has been restored in the prisons. Imagine a prison where inmates solely depend on what the government offers them – it would be chaotic, says STL Today. Keefe Group has also played a vital role in strengthening the relationships between prisoners and their family members and friends. Today, incarcerated persons can communicate with their loved ones by leveraging Keefe’s calling services.
Restoring order in correctional facilities
Keefe Group has a unique and reliable way of keeping all incarcerated persons accounted for through the Keep Track System, the renowned software; it introduced 20 years ago. Keefe’s system consists of diverse programs, which focus on managing information for correctional agencies. Its systems comprise of a broad range of features like inmate property, finance interfaces, and cash management.
Breaking a record is a great achievement for individuals and even companies. When Securus Technology announced the 30 million calls made in March 2016, there was no doubt about them being in the lead in the inmate communication industry. It has made a great leap in the inmate communication industry by recording video plus audio calls amounting to 30 million calls. All the calls were processed through the inmate platform Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). While releasing the news, the Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies said the state-of-art service offered by the company cannot be emphasized enough with the new records cutting out the reputation of the company in clear edges.
The Strengths of Securus Technologies
Every company in the world today is making huge strides due to the extra effort made in providing creative solutions. Securus Technologies is one of them, with a mission of creatively using the available technological infrastructure to make their clients satisfied. Reliable computer languages, internet telephony and troubleshooting operations remotely when they occur have been crucial in their success. This means inmates or family members have an easy time when they are looking for an appropriate moment to talk over the phone.
Benefit of Securus
Secures Technologies has announced the great benefits it can offer clients through their video and audio calls. First, it is easy to install and configure. This means you start using immediately without any need for training. Safety is also guaranteed with the professional approach the experts have made. In the process, all the data shared plus the contact information is kept confidential. The upgrades carried out by the company have helped customize the quality of the service to what people want. Troubleshooting is also done instantly. All the above services are offered at a low cost yet the quality remains high.
There is a prison communications company that operates more like profiteers instead of the typical company that would help those who want to call home. Global Tel Link is a company that many prisons use so that inmates can call friends and family. However, the rates are so high that those who accept the calls can’t afford to talk. They might be able to talk once or twice a week if they are on a budget, and for many, this is still stretching the money that they have. In a report by PR News, there are promises of an investigation into the high rates that are charged by the company, but nothing has been done about GTL’s high rates that families have to pay just to be able to talk to the people who are in jail or in prison.
It’s hard enough to deal with being away from someone you love. Letters are nice, but when an inmate can hear the voice of a family member or friend, then it can help in a great way when it comes to the person not going back to jail in the future. They know that they have the support at home that is needed to stay on the right track in life when they are able to make a phone call. To read the company review, go to mythreecents.com.
There is no doubt that the new president of the United States has been shaking things up. It has not been long since Donald J. Trump was sworn into office, and he has already caused some to worry. Some people believe that his presidency is going to affect the lives of many Americans. One of Trump’s appointees is Ajit Pai who is now the head of the FCC. Pai is already a controversial figure since he seems to oppose net neutrality.
Companies that provide inmate communication services like Securus and Global Tel-Link are looking at Trump’s appointee with suspicion because the giants are not sure what he intends to do. The people directly affected by whatever Pai enacts are those who have family members in prison. It should be noted that there are about 2.2 million people in prison today, meaning that there is definitely a large number of the population that could be affected by Pai’s policies.
Pai could be good for the inmate communication industry that has been criticized for years. Many critics have noted that the companies are running monopolies within the industry. It is not uncommon for a family to pay a few dollars per minute when they talk to incarcerated loved ones. This is one of the things that the FCC has been fighting for some time.
The FCC tried to place a cap on these companies, and the one person who opposed these caps was Pai. This means Pai may continue to defend companies like Global Tel-Link and Securus against the people of the United States who are no longer okay with these high rates.
No one knows for sure, but it seems like this person is fine with this new form for monopoly that is taking over industries like the inmate communication industry.
Rudolph Rowe was a 31-year-old inmate at the Lake Correctional Institute, which is located in Clermont, Florida. He died at the facility, but his family did not know that he has passed until 11 days later. Dominique is Rudulph’s brother. She was told that if anything happened to Rudulph, then the family would be notified immediately. She is not happy that she was not informed of her brother’s death right away.
Rudolph died on December 23, 2016. Dominique called the Lake Correctional Institute on January 2, 2017. She did not get an answer. She called the next day and was told that her brother had died. No one knows how Rudulph died. An autopsy has been performed, but the results of it will not be released for three months.
The last time that Dominique saw her brother was December 9, 2017. Rudolph had been battling an illness, but he was getting better. He was eating well and gaining weight. Dominque does not understand what could have happened within two weeks to cause her brother to die.
The counselor also stated that Rudolph was getting better. Counselors are not responsible for letting family members know that an inmate has died. However, Dominique stated that the prison officers should have let her know about Rudolph’s death. She does not know why they did not let her know that her brother died.
Rudolph had been at the Lake Correctional Institute ever since 2009. He is serving time for second-degree murder. He was involved in a robbery. The person he was with shot and killed someone. Rudulph was arrested for being an accomplice.
Texas has a large growing problem that many are unaware of, and it’s costing the taxpayer more and more every year.
Old and sick inmates are on the rise in the Lone Star State and caring for these elder inmates isn’t cheap. Medicare will not pay for a prisoner’s health care while he or she are incarcerated. Instead, the correctional facility will provide and pay for medical care while the prisoner is behind bars.
According to PrisonLegalNews.org, the state of Texas is home to 109 prisons, and about 27,000 out of 148,000 inmates are over the age of 50. This age group is the fastest-growing category of prisoners and costs the most to keep locked up, when factoring in medical treatment and end-of-life expenses.
Life in prison is hard enough, but for senior inmates, it can be very challenging. Some are confined to solitary, others are in wheelchairs where mobility is an issue, some are dying of diseases like cancer and dealing with other problems.
Prisoners in the Texas system like 80-year-old Benito Alonzo have seen a lot and are watching the system erode. He claims that with rampant prison staff shortages and negligence, senior inmates get the short end of the stick. There aren’t many helping to protect the weak from the strong or the young from the old behind bars.
Texas does have a system in place that releases old and ill prisoners on humanitarian parole, but numbers show that’s far and few in between.
The history of the U.S. prison system isn’t a particularly pretty one. Prior to the 1950s inmates who were sent away often served out their terms without ever seeing or hearing their loved ones a single time. In those days, letters were pretty much the only form of authorized communication. For most families, the journey to the prison to visit their loved ones was simply too arduous and expensive to undertake. An inmate sentenced to 20 years in a state prison would often be released nearly unrecognized to and scarcely remembered by his loved ones.
Slowly, telephones began being introduced into prisons across the country. While this allowed for some improvement in inmate’s ability to communicate with the outside world, the calls were often exorbitant. Right up to the 2000s, outgoing collect calls often ran up to $5 per minute and the bills were mostly footed by the families of the prisoners placing the calls. This undue burden represented a serious hardship for the families of the incarcerated and many times had the effect of curbing inmate’s ability to communicate with their families.
With the advent of widespread cellular and VoIP usage, things at first got far worse. Cellular phone and VoIP lines are not compatible with collect calling and so inmates often had no way to contact their loved ones. But then IC Solutions stepped in with a suite of innovative, low-cost products to enable the incarcerated to directly call their loved ones’ cellular and VoIP lines from prison.
This was a watershed moment in inmate communications and, almost overnight, outgoing calls from prisons nationwide exploded. What’s more, IC Solutions had harnessed the cheap technologies of cellular and VoIP interfacing and were thus able to slash outgoing phone call rates to just fractions of what they had once been. Inmates who would likely never have talked to a single soul outside prison walls just a decade earlier had become electronic socialites, maintaining robust social contacts with the outside world. This had the welcome effect of generally raising prisoner morale and generated all of the positive effects consequent to that. It’s been demonstrated that prisoners with a healthy psychological disposition are much more compliant and pose far less risk to institutional safety than their more disturbed peers.
IC Solutions.com is proud they have been able to play such an instrumental role in the transformation of U.S. prisons into, if not happy places, at least humane ones.
Read the company review: http://icsolutions.pissedconsumer.com/state/arizona.html
The men associated with the Keefe Group have made the admonition that they paid bribes to officials within the state prison system in Florida. Keefe Group is a company based out of St. Louis that is a contractor for prisons around the nation. The first man to confess was Joseph Arthur Deese. He had an appearance in a federal courtroom in Jacksonville, Fl. He made a plea of guilty to the charges of conspiracy to pay bribes to the secretary of the state corrections department James Crosby. He also paid bribes to Allen Wayne Clark who was a high ranking man in the prison system. The other man to make a confession is Edward Lee Dugger, a 64-year-old. The two men will face sentencing together. He was the owner of an insurance franchise under the Allstate brand in Gainesville, Florida and a personal friend of Crosby. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/corporate/gainesville-businessmen-admit-paying-bribes-to-florida-prison-officials/1173073
Dugger was introduced to the Police Benevolent Association by Crosby. It is a union that represents prison guards. He sold insurance to employees of the prison. It was around this time that Keefe was enlisted as the contractor who would provide vending machines to the prison. This made an opportunity for the two men to meet. They became friends and began to collude with each other.
In 2004, the two men created a company to provide new services to visitors at Florida prison facilities. They offered a kickback to Crosby and Clark for accepting them as contractors in this capacity. The amounts paid to Crosby and Clark were up to $14,000 a month. Jack Donnelly, the former Keefe Commissary president was another beneficiary of the corrupt scheme. He was supposed to receive more than $250,000 yearly from the it. The Dispatch reveals the total annual profits the men expected to make together each year exceeded $1.5 million. Dugger and Deese did not know they were being recorded by authorities when they planned illegal activities together.
Federal prosecutors alerted the men that they had recorded evidence against them. This prompted them to confess their crimes. It took a very long time for the men to get caught and go to trial, but thankfully justice is finally being served to the masterminds behind this scheme.