Keefe Group is one of the leading contractors for prison services and products. The company has been in operation for more than four decades. It offers different products to inmates. These items include shaving products, toothpaste, hair conditioner, deodorants, mouthwash, vitamins, seafood and nuts among other supplies. The group also provides telecommunication solutions.

Before the Taylor Family acquired the company in 1974, it was known as the Jack Keefe Coffee bar. The firm originally sold coffee. In 1975, it started packaging commissary items like instant coffee and other beverages. Keefe Group later decided to sell food to prisons. Within a short time, they were offering non-food items such as footwear, phones, and cable TV.

Since the group was established, it has always offered high-quality products and services. Keefe group uses the latest technology to package products so that they can fully meet the needs of their clients. Additionally, the group offers quality clothing to inmates at a low-cost price. Read more on tampabay.com about Keefe Group.

The group provides financial services that enable families and friends to deposit money into the accounts of the inmates. This way, the company can improve the quality of life of those who are incarcerated. Keefe group has worked hard over the years to ensure inmates live comfortably. This has enabled the group to gain popularity in the prisons sector. One of their long time clients is the American Correctional Association.

Keefe group serves more than 800 prisons in the United States. The majority of their contracts are in the commissaries section. Some prisons in Missouri recently contracted the company. The contracts were valued at $8 million per annum. Some of the services featured on the contract include handling deposits made to accounts of inmates and upgrading the email system. Missouri’s prisons chose Keefe Group because they offer relatively lower rates than their competitors do.

Keefe Group has achieved a lot since it was established 40 years ago. It has expanded its operations to cater for different markets that need their products and services. With time, the group has managed to create a great rapport with several clients. It closely associated with the U.S. criminal justice system.

Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=39055

In the state of Oregon, the Department of Corrections gets around $3.6 million annually from prison phone contracts. These contracts are said to be so exploitative on inmates and their families that a number of federal officials advocated for the state to scrap them. A number of officials from the state correction department conceded that these huge monies would soon dry up due to the huge pressure exerted by the federal regulators.

 

Stumbling Blocks

 

However, scrapping these contracts would leave the state with a huge budget deficit. Further, President Trump has shown a slightly lighter federal authoritarian approach that has led to the leaders of the state having a change of heart. This led to the shelving of the planned reform of scrapping off prison phone contracts. This is good news on the part of the state corrections department’s budget but bad on the families whose members are incarcerated. This means they will continue footing huge phone call rates that are artificially inflated.

 

Inmate Communications in Oregon

 

Inmate communications to their families via phone calls are at issue in this case. Inmates in Oregon State, just like in other states, can communicate with their loved ones at home via phone calls. These calls, which are made under strict supervision and are monitored electronically by private contractors, are very expensive. For instance, in Oregon, these services are provided by Telmate, which charges inmates an average of 16 cents per minute. Telmate, a privately-owned company in San Francisco, provides phone services to 300 jails and prisons spread across the North America area.

 

In return, Telmate pays a $3 million flat fee for the contract it signed in 2012, plus an additional percentage if and when it collects more proceeds from the calls than the projections in place. In 2018, this contract is expected to bring in about $3.6 million for the state. A high number of critics to these contracts liken them to kickbacks in return for a monopoly. According to Aleks Kajstura, the legal director of Prison Policy Initiative in Massachusetts, these companies are making insane profits. The current rate that Telmate charges of 16 cents per minute appears to be at the middle but it is still 3 cents or 23% higher than the amount suggested by the Federal Communications Commission in 2016.

 

Rejoinder

 

Liz Craig, a spokeswoman in the Department of Corrections, stated that there was no issue with this contract. According to her, the Telmate contract offered inmates and their families with a cost-effective method of communicating often while also allowing the prison officials to monitor their communication effectively. Craig further says that the amount realized from the telephone call commissions are put into a welfare fund for the inmates. This fund caters for drug treatment, alcohol, education as well as amenities like television and exercise equipment. Craig sums up the deal as a normal payment for services rendered at an affordable rate. She added that the commission funded important programs that benefit the taxpayers. However, critics maintain that these families already [pay taxes and this exorbitant phone call rates are just another form of taxation for services that the state ought to provide. [Read More]

 

In 2011, Securus Technologies Inc., a leading inmate telephone company, filed an unfair competition suit, alleging their competitor, Telmate, of spreading defamatory lies about them. Securus claimed that Telmate misled potential customers about their success as well. This presents a problem since correctional facilities typically receive a percentage of the price of each call as a commission. Prison forums are full of complaints from family members who are unable to set up an account with Telmate and if prisoners cannot make calls, the facility does not earn a commission.

 

Typical complaints against Telmate are concerning their customer service representatives and the company’s fees, not their service. Family members are frantic about not being able to reach their loved ones because of computer errors; telephone calls are a lifeline for inmates. People question whether companies and correctional facilities should profit from these calls, since continued family contact reduces recidivism and the high costs associated with the calls falls on the inmate’s families, who have not committed any offences.

 

One report criticizes prison telephone companies in general, although it talks about additional fees, which Telmate is famous for charging. Even if the FTC is successful in capping the rates, the companies can make up the difference by raising their fees. Looking at the Telmate’s website, a call appears fairly priced until you scroll down a find fees associated with placing money in an account and a Quick Connect fee, with an undisclosed per minute rate. It is easy to understand why people are so upset with the company.

 

 

Criminal offender recidivism rates are of significant concern. The reality is that a high percentage of incarcerated criminal offenders will commit new crimes when they return to the community.

 

One factor that is proven to reduce the recidivism rate is the ability of an inmate to maintain meaningful, consistent contact with loved ones in the outside world. The key way in which an inmate maintains contact with family and friends is through use of the telephone.

 

Historically, the rates associated with inmate phone calls were extremely high. This prompted the Federal Communications, FCC, to intervene. The FCC has an official mandate to ensure that telephone rates are fair, reasonable, and just. This includes phone calls between inmates and loved ones.

 

Overview of Inmate Telephone Systems

 

Generally speaking, inmate telephone systems can be utilized in one of three ways. They can be accessed with collect calls, debit accounts, or prepaid accounts. IN addition, in the vast majority of situations, an inmate has only one telephone provider available.

 

In the inmate communications industry today, there are only a handful of providers in the first instance. In nearly every case, an inmate service provider has an exclusive contract with a correctional agency. Indeed, there is one provider of inmate telephone systems that has a lock on a strong majority of correctional agencies at this juncture in time.

 

Action by the FCC

 

In response to what it perceived as unfair pricing by inmate telephone service providers, the FCC has started to take action against in the industry. The FCC has created a cap on the rate these companies can charge for inmate telephone calls. Although the cap was supposed to go into effect by the spring of 2017, it has been delated. The proposed cap has been challenged by companies in the industry. A court has placed a temporary injunction on the cap the FCC desires to put in place.

 

The FCC is diligently trying to garner approval from the court for its rate cap. There is no specific time frame yet set by the court in regard to when a final decision will be made regarding the pending the judicial challenge to the rate cap the FCC desires to implement.

 

There is a partial interim cap in place that has not been impacted by the court’s decision. The interim cap applied only to interstate long distance inmate telephone calls. It does not apply to intrastate long distance inmate telephone calls.

 

Fee Caps

 

In addition to attempting to reduce rates associated with inmate telephone calls, the FCC also has taken action to place caps on other fees. These include fees for such things as automated payments, which are undertaken at some institutions through the inmate telephone system.

 

Other Considerations

 

The FCC has also interceded to preclude inmate telephone service providers from requiring minimum balances on a prepaid phone card. In addition, the FCC now prohibits an inmate telephone service provider from placing a maximum that can be deposited on a prepaid card that is less than $50.

 

Global Tel Link is one of the nation’s leaders in the provision to the corrections community of communications, inmate calling and payment systems. They make the process simple and easy and help people save money on phone calls to and from inmates. The company has a number of innovative affordable programs that make communications in the corrections facility cheaper, clearer and more convenient. They do this through their Collect Calling, AdvancsPay and other Inmate Prepay Options. The company has helped to revolutionize communications in the correctional community.

AdvancePay Program

The AdvancePay program offered by Global Tel Link helps inmates’ complete calls that would otherwise be blocked. The inmate’s friends and family can create AdvancePay prepaid calling accounts. This provides a convenient method to pay for calls made to and from the inmate. People that use the AdvancePay program can use credit card, checks, money order or Western Union to deposit money into the AdvancePay account. This makes it easier to communicate with their loved one during what can be one of the most difficult times in their lives and provide them with a measure of comfort.

Read more: https://action.aclu.org/global-tel

Free Chat Feature

One of the unique features of Global Tel Link’s service is the Free Chat Feature. This is provided once to each party the inmate calls. It makes the person receiving the call aware that collect calls to their number is blocked and gives them the option to accept the call and have a brief chat with the inmate for free. The operator then gives them the option to set up an AdvancePay account to continue talking to the inmate. If they decline, the inmate’s call is disconnected. For phone plans that don’t allow collect calls, a prepaid option is offered. Know more about GTL at Consumer Affairs.

Inmate Prepay Options

Using the Global Tel Link system, inmates have the option to buy prepaid calling vouchers through the correction facility’s commissary. Inmates can use these vouchers to make direct calls to their loved ones. This gives them a way to control their calling options while generating an additional revenue stream for the correctional facility. The vouchers contain a PIN and a voucher number which enable the inmate to make calls until they use up the value of the voucher. Their loved ones can simply add more money to their commissary account to enable them to purchase more talk time.

Call Control

The Global Tel Link platform through which the prepaid calls are routed is secure and subject to all the corrections facility’s restrictions. The caller is made aware the calls are subject to monitoring and recording by the facility. Any money remaining in the calling account is refunded through making a request when the person is no longer incarcerated. Visit consumerist.com to know more about GTL.

The Keefe Food Group is the country’s leading distributor of food products, hygiene products, electronics, clothing, technology, telecommunications and software. Keefe Food Group has been servicing the correctional market since 1975 and revolutionized the packaging and technology services needed by facilities across the country. Keefe Food Group is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Two Florida businessmen admitted paying bribes to state prison officials and employers of Keefe Commissary. The two men identified as Joseph Arthur Deese and Edward Lee Dugger appeared in court and pleaded guilty to several charges including conspiracy to pay kickbacks to former Secretary of Corrections James Crosby and a high-level prison official Allen Wayne Clark.

Joseph Deese and Edward Dugger admitted that they created a business to provide canteen services for visitors across all Florida prisons. Both men agreed to pay Crosby and Clark nearly $158,000 a year. Their deal also included paying former Keefe Food Group president Jack Donnelly and another executive $1.5 million a year that would come from the profits they expected to make. Both men eventually admitted their guilt. Both Crosby and Clark had to resign amidst a bribery investigation.

The Keefe Food Group has made more than $40 million in gross revenue through the services they provide. The Keefe Food Grop earned a contract in 2008 and continues to be renewed as they provide numerous services including: processing inmate deposits, right to sell music players, right to sell song doownloads and the Keefe Group’s right to sell commissary items. Visit The Dispatch to know more about Keefe Group.

A five-member task force in Mississippi is attempting to convince the governor to eliminate many of the state’s no-bid contracts including those given to the Keefe Group. The Department of Corrections currently has six no-bid contracts that would be put up for bids if state officials accept the recommendations made by the task force. The task force has recommended taking over the commissary system instead of using a private contractor. The task force recommendations included agencies would have to post online an explanation of why it awards each of its contracts. Despite the concern that the Keefe Food Group creates, they are still providing services to prisons across the country.

Learn more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/student-activists-demand-washington-university-cut-ties-with-andrew-taylor/article_3f8f03e7-9a96-5af1-85f9-15eb782270de.html

The revolutionary wireless tablet unveiled for inmates in 2014 was designed for correction facilities transforming the way time was spent in jail. This also largely improved public safety. Currently serving thousands of inmates, the inmate communication leader has installed the tablets in various correctional facilities throughout the country. The new features included in the tablet have placed no cost on taxpayers, benefiting both the inmate and the officers.

 

With the new technology, the inmates can at a low fee communicate with their family through sharing photos, secured messaging, and etcetera. More so, rather than wasting time during their jail term, inmates can now be productive by engaging in job training, furthering their education online, receiving counseling, news, and more. Before leaving the facility, all wireless communication is encrypted and all data packets filtered.

 

Applications added remotely allow for easy control since WIFI triangulation enhances easy tracking of the device. Running a highly secure custom made ROM, Telmate’s tablet is increasingly becoming a vital tool in correctional facilities, where it is being used to reduce violence, improve public safety, and increase control. With it, it has become easy to automate administrative tasks, increase staff control, and has also given investigators a rich source of actionable data.

 

Telmate

 

Based in San Francisco and founded in 1998, Telmate is a for-profit organization that offers communication technology to more than 300 incarceration centers across the country. It has been known for its efforts in offering innovative solutions for operational efficiencies and the changing needs of the corrections sector.

 

The communication systems offered include investigator tools, phones, tablets, content, video visits, among others. Services offered include telephone and electrical wiring, commissions, customer service, telephone maintenance, repairs, carrier services both local and international, fraud prevention and resolution. The company strikes a balance between easy-to-operate interfaces and powerful investigator tools.

 

Throughout 42 states, the system is deployed in close to 300 facilities and four provinces in Canada. Currently, it is the fastest growing and third largest communication provider in the United States. Due to its innovative communications measures, Telmate has been recognized as a leading telecom provider in North America.

 

 

IC Solutions is not good at very many things, but one thing they have the market cornered on is lying. They are masters at that and the very best of it. Although, come to think of it, they are also the masters of playing dumb and being silent. They know there is no justifiable way they can condone their actions.

There is no world out there where what they have done makes any kind of sense. It simply does not exist. They are an inmate communications provider that is not very well liked on the web, and they have earned every bit of that hatred through their actions and through their indifference.

They simply have one job to do and that is to allow inmates the chance to speak to those that care about them while they are in prison. Learn more about IC Solutions: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/IC-Solutions/internet/IC-Solutions-inmate-calling-solutions-A-Necessary-evil-Internet-833195

Now, keep in mind, this is not a free service. AI reveals that IC Solutions is known for charging prices that are just pure insanity. (http://icsolutions.pissedconsumer.com/state/arizona.html). They have a 1.4 rating on Pissed Consumer out of 61 reviews.

People don’t like having to pay these high prices because they are completely and totally unnecessary. It is purely a company that has gone mad with power and greed. Because of it, they have no filter and they just do whatever they want.

They need to remember that in order for society to work, everyone has to work together as one. It is not just one person or one company making all of the money. That does not do anyone any good. It needs to be a two-way street.

With IC Solutions, it is a one-way street from start to finish and they have no interest in even compromising or meeting the customers in the middle. That is how stubborn they are and how much of a bully they are as a company.

Global Tel-Link is a top company in the provision of integrated technology solutions to correctional facilities in the United States of America. The company serves 2300 facilities that house more than 1.9 million inmates. GTL operates from its head office based in Reston, Virginia. It also has offices in various locations in the country. For the years it has been in existence, GTL has taken a lead in developing innovative technologies that has boosted efficiency, enhanced security and financial value of correctional institutions.

Know more: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/global_tel_link.html

In 2015, Global Tel Link bitterly contested the move by the Federal Communication Commission to introduce fresh regulations aimed at capping fees and rates for intra- and interstate calls. The company claimed that these new rules will make the Inmate Calling Services (ICS) industry unstable therefore adversely affecting the smaller jails. GTL further alleged that FCC’s move will not only affect service providers but also consumers are at risk of receiving poor or shutdown of the services. The company was forced to seek the assistance of the courts in order for FCC’s directive to be quashed. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.

Despite the fact that Global Tel Link seem to be at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the players in the industry, the company has not been spared by the wrath of inmates and their families who accuse GTL for high calling rates and unfair billing. The company continues to work hard in clearing itself from these accusations. In 2016, the firm was also embattled in court tussles with Securus Technologies over patent infringement claims. In the case Securus, which also serves the correctional industry, sued GTL for making the consumers believe that GTL has won the patent feud case. Securus was forced to issue a press release to make corrections on the press statement GTL had issued about the patent case. Read more reviews at globaltellinkreviews.com

The inmate communications industry provides a vital service to inmates and their families. By connecting prisoners to their loved ones by means of telecommunication, the industry provides a level of convenience that cannot be matched. Making time-consuming and costly visits to prisons hundreds of miles away is not a viable option for many families, and telecom offers a suitable supply of services for an increasing demand.

In addition, the inmate communications industry provides valuable intelligence regarding shipments of illicit narcotics into prisons. This assists law enforcement officials in interdicting illegal substances and preventing violence between inmates. (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/securus-technologies-facility-customers-comment-on-using-technology-to-solve-and-prevent-crimes-300349185.html)

Every business sector is experiencing monumental change due to innovations in information technology, and the inmate communications industry is on the cutting edge of this wave. Analysts are even predicting that inmates may be given tablets in order to expedite vital calls by and to family members. (http://www.rrstar.com/news/20170518/tablets-for-winnebago-county-jail-inmates)

Voice Over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) calling platforms are also becoming popular. Boasting over nine-hundred features, Securus Technologies’ VoIP platform completed an industry record of thirty million calls in one month. (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/securus-technologies-completes-an-industry-record-30-million-inmate-calls-in-march-2016-on-voice-over-internet-protocol-voip-securus-calling-platform-300274372.html) Because of this service, millions of families were able to stay connected through the services of only one company. As a whole, the industry is meeting the needs of a large section of the population: convicts and their families. The industry keeps in mind that those housed in the nation’s prisons are human beings with hopes, aspirations and familial ties. It helps them to stay connected when they are separated by long distances and prison walls.

Ultimately, the inmate communications industry offers an unmatched quality of service for less money than the government can provide, creating thousands of jobs and keeping love alive for many inmates, their children and their spouses and other loved ones.