Keefe Group, which began in 1975, is a subsidiary of the Centric Group LLC, and through its many affiliate companies, it is responsible for the provision of various services to correctional facilities across the country ranging from supplying food products to clothing to personal care products, and much more. The company is also responsible for processing inmate deposits, handling of debit cards and inmate trust funds, and selling of music players to inmates.

 

In many of these services, the company has exclusive rights to them, and its contracts were awarded and renewed severally through no-bid contracts. Incidentally, this is what led to the resignation and eventual indictment of Commissioner Chris Epps and Cecil McCrory. Epps was accused of awarding McCrory’s company, G.T. Enterprises, a no-bid contract in 2007 to provide inmate commissary services in 2007. He also renewed the contract severally during the course of the next few years. The Keefe Group acquired the G.T. Enterprises company in 2008 after buying it from its owner McCrory and hence receiving the contract as well.

 

The commissary system allows inmates to receive money from their friends and families and order essential items which are delivered to after a few days. The company has turned this into a lucrative business by hiking the prices of the things to get a specific commission on them and retaining some of the money intended to be for the inmates as a policy. This has made the items to be costly, and families of the inmates are feeling the pinch as the cost is burdensome and some have even complained to the courts.

 

A five-member task force sat and came up with some recommendations to make sure the practice does not continue in the future. They suggested that correction departments should replace all no-bid contracts with competitive contracts. They also proposed that any vendor with a state agency contract would have to file a disclosure form bearing the name of any consultant that assisted them to get the contract and any amount paid to them. State agencies would then be required to post on a public website requests for bids and also state reasons why it awarded a contract to a particular vendor. With the implementation of these recommendations, it is expected that monopoly by companies such as Keefe Group, and instances of bribery in awarding of contracts will be significantly reduced.

 

Global Tel-Link is a company that has come under fire from the media many times during the past decade. This company is a provider of phone service for prisons around the United States. The bad media coverage is due to the company charging very high rates for inmates to make phone calls to members of their families and their legal representatives. They have been doing this sort of thing for many years without any intervention from the government. They are allowed to keep doing this because the prison phone industry is not currently regulated. Therefore, all of the companies involved in this industry can basically get away with murder.

 

Each phone company has a monopoly over the prisons they service. A prison has just one phone provider. Inmates are forced to deal with whatever company is contracted to provide the phone service for the prison they are being housed in. They can set up an account that they can add money to whenever they want. The rates that are charged are at the sole discretion of the phone provider. Inmates can either pay the rates of not make calls. Many inmates are incarcerated far away from their families. Therefore, talking to their families on the phone is the only way they can communicate with them. This is why inmates often spend every penny they have to call home.

 

Many TV news programs and websites have made a point of exposing the corrupt business practices of Global Tel-Link and the other companies in the prison phone industry. This has brought a great deal of attention to the situation regarding the insanely high rates prisoners must pay to use the phone. However, the government has yet to put any sort of regulations on this very lucrative industry that generates billions of dollars every year. There is a theory that politicians will not regulate the prison phone industry because they rely on hefty donations from Global Tel-Link and all of their competitors. These companies do donate heavily to politicians. Therefore, there might be some truth to that theory.

 

Keefe Food Group Company is one of the most corrupt companies that operate in the inmate industry. For over three decades of professional experience, Keefe Food Group Company has worked to become one of the most sophisticated business capability that understands what it takes to become an entity in this business world. Corruption is a vice that the American constitution does not allow. If any company or individual is allegedly confirmed to engage in corruption, they are an enemy of the country and the people. Keefe Food Group Company has confirmed to the people that they are an enemy of the people in a wide range of solutions.

 

It is now clear that their success is not attributed to the products and solutions they offer the inmate industry. However, their success is attributed to the amount of money the company strives to achieve at the end of the session. Working for better business will land you at a safer position towards understanding the importance of fighting Keefe Food Group Company corruption in the inmate industry. When you look at the money the company takes home at the end of the year working in the inmate industry, it is to our surprise that the prisoners are a source of money. This brings in the confusion when we understand that prisoners have no economic activity to give them money for improper spending. However, Keefe Food Group Company sells the personal items that prisoners can’t go without. Therefore, they hike the prices to amounts they deem fit for their operations.

 

For over three decades of experience in the industry, Keefe Food Group Company mastered the art of persuasion to secure business deals in the inmate industry. When the company as new in business, their solutions sold them for adoption. However, they have sidelined their operations of activities to seek massive profits from forcing people to purchase hiked commodities. The company also issues kick-back money to prison officials because they signed their contracts. Some states have also decided to eliminate the no-bid contracts that will help the prison facilities choose the most suitable people to operate in the industry.

 

The corrections industry has been subject to a lot of scrutiny over the years from various inmate labor stories to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial regulations on inmate attire in Maricopa County in Arizona. But not as talked about is another series of events related to prison commissaries including some cases of corruption regarding Keefe Group and its sister company IC Solutions. Keefe Group has been owned by several different companies, including a new merger with HIG Capital and has been in operation for over 40 years. They are part of an extensive network of commissary and telecommunications operators but are mostly responsible for commissary sales in many facilities.

 

Keefe Group has done some good by ensuring that items such as snack foods, clothing articles, approved electronic devices and others are transported to corrections facilities safely and free of contraband. IC Solutions allows secured phone lines to the prison as well as an an IT system that includes video visitation and prison guard communication tools and inmate monitoring. They have helped corrections personnel make timely responses to incidents and have produced efficient commissary sales operations over the years, but their far reach into the prison commissary system has brought about investigations into bribes and unlawful contract steering in some cases.

 

In Tampa several years ago, state officials found out that two businessmen were given control of a prison business under agreements to pay prison administration and Keefe Group executives kickback payments for that control. While Keefe Group’s executives were never prosecuted in this case, their reputation took a large hit. In another incident in Mississippi not long after, a corrections administrator was prosecuted and sentenced for intentionally fixing contracts to favor Keefe Group while selecting them to operate the prison. While it’s unclear entirely what will be done to change this trend, more state lawmakers are looking to change how prison commissaries are run and what a private company’s limitations will be.

 

Telmate Communications is regarded as one of the leading inmate communication services providers in the United States and Canada. With the experience of over two decades, Telmate Communications is a trusted name in the world of inmate communication services and provides its services to over 300 correctional facilities in Canada and North America. The company offers innovative investigative solutions as well as inmate communication services, which are helpful for law enforcement agencies as well as the inmates. In the beginning, Telmate Communications started off on a positive note by offering high-quality services at low prices.

However, with time, the quality of the services provided by Telmate Communications continued to deteriorate drastically. It has become a major concern for the customers who are looking for affordable and efficient services. I am incarcerated for less than a decade, and I have never faced any issues with the inmate communication services so far. But, in the last couple of years, there has been a drastic increase in the prices of inmate communication services that is pinching my budget majorly. It has reduced my ability to call my friends and family as often as I used to and my family is burdened economically due to it. It is similar with other inmates as well who are not financially sound and are struggling to find ways to recharge their account with credit so that they can call their loved ones.

Moreover, the Telmate Communication services have been overcharging many of its customers wrongfully. The customer care of the company has been irresponsive and not answering the customers as they should. It has become a major concern for the inmates, and the problem is that even after repeated complaints, there is hardly any action taken by Telmate Communications. I sincerely hope that Telmate Communications take note of all the complaints that have been flooding the internet lately. It would make the lives of the inmates easier and help them make calls to their loved ones with ease without having to pay double of what other inmate communication service providers charge. If the corrective measures are not implemented soon, I doubt about the future of Telmate Communications in the inmate communications sector.

 

 

Telmate LLC., is a renowned company in creating secure technology for inmates. The company offers secure systems for inmate communication. Most of their solutions include; investigative tools, video visits, content, tablets, and phones among others. For over a decade, Telmate has consistently provided reliable and creative services to its clients. Telmate is keen about security, control and efficiency in inmate communications.

 

Telmate was first established in 1998 as an inmate technology company under the name Pinnacle Public Services. At the time there was an exceeding need for inmate communication solution. It is for this reason that Telmate was mainly established to meet the needs of correctional facilities while providing inmate communication.

 

Telmate offer its services to 300 other correctional facilities in Canada and the United States of America. Telmate has come up with several correctional products. A case in point is inmate communication. These services enable friends and families to communicate with inmates through messaging, call, photos and video visits. Additionally, Telmate positively engage the inmate with positive content through e-books, movies, music, games, and education among others.

 

Through high-tech investigative tools and highly experienced staff, Telmate is resourceful in thorough facility control and general oversight. The company has also managed to automate most of its processes to assure their client with efficiency. Most processes and services at Telmate are paperless and high adaptive to any working environment.

 

Unified suite of technical software serves as the access point to gain control over communications made through Tablets, kiosks and phone. Telmate is particularly driven by creative ideas and extensive research. The company has successfully managed to enhance the platform of inmate communication.

 

Telmate has positively changed the life of its clients at a fair pricing. The company has also managed to lower recidivism. Moreover, Telmate has greatly contributed to security, operation efficiency and control. The company has equally managed to protect local communities.

 

Telmate provides unlimited opportunities to its employees and consumers to get better services. The company encourages new ideas and takes responsibility for its deliberate actions. As any other result driven organization, Telmate is critical in meeting their promise to the clients.

 

Many families face multiple hardships when a loved one is imprisoned. There are usually missed income opportunities, as well as a whole host of other challenges. An overwhelming number of relatives and friends of inmates may be squeezed for funds as a result, and Global Tel-Link is not making their lives any easier. For many people, a 15-minute prison call will end up costing somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 dollars. When making calls on a weekly basis, these charges can really start to add up. Many families report having spent thousands of dollars on phone calls that would have cost a nominal fee if they had been placed to someone outside of the prison system.

 

It wasn’t always this way. Back in the nineties, making phone calls to a prisoner didn’t cost much more than calling anyone else. However, a few companies swooped in and changed all of that. One of them is Global Tel-Link, a group that is currently being investigated by the FCC and facing fire from the ACLU. Although this new industry has been largely unregulated, it has said that lawmakers are starting to take a closer look at what has become a billion-dollar business—at the expense of inmates’ loved ones.

 

Indeed, it seems as if the spotlight is finally starting to heat up on companies such as Global Tel-Link. In Sarah Koenig’s wildly popular podcast Serial, which focused on the conviction of inmate Adnan Syed, listeners would hear a message from Global Tel-Link at the beginning of each call between Syed and Koenig. During the course of the show, Koenig would have racked up thousands of dollars for these interview calls, a point which she mentions quickly. For Global Tel-Link, it seems as if this cash cow may be coming to a close sometime soon.

 

My father is in prison in the state of Pennsylvania. I haven’t been able to talk to him a lot since he went away because of the cost. The prison where he is staying uses the company Global Tel-Link. The prices I have been charged for simply wanting to keep in touch with him are outrageous.

 

I have deposited at least $300 in the last two months. That’s $150. A month. I cannot afford that under normal circumstances. What Global Tel-Link doesn’t tell their customers before they sign up is that they charge fees for everything. There’s a fee to deposit online. There’s a fee just to simply deposit at all into the account. There’s a fee to open the account, one to close the account, one if you simply get called, and then one if they have to reconnect the call because they dropped it. Even if I’m in an area with good reception, I’ve lost calls.

 

This isn’t fair to the families of those incarcerated in the prison system. I wish I could talk to him more often, but I can’t afford all of these fees. I checked my account just this morning. I only had $2 in the account – not even enough to accept a call from my father. Why are the families of the prisoners the ones that get hit the hardest?

 

In a recent move, correctional facilities in Northern America have introduced the use of Telmate devices for inmate communication. Telmate’s video conferencing system allows friends, family members, and inmate attorneys keep in touch with prisoners from anywhere in the world via Telmate web accounts, software, and internet link. Telmate stations are installed in a facility’s jail lobby with video and phone chatting capabilities. Besides that, inmates can have Telmate units in their living quarters.

 

Typically, visits are scheduled in blocks of 30 minutes daily except during mealtimes and at night. Jail officials have lauded this as a positive development in curbing the introduction of contraband into these institutions. In addition to that, Telmate’s video conferencing systems have enhanced the quality of inmate and visitor communication. As such, Telmate’s inmate visitation system is a tremendous breakthrough as it allows families and friends virtual visits as long as they have a PC or internet connection.

 

Despite concerns regarding the safety of visitor-inmate communications, the company encrypts all data generated in the process. For this reason, Telmate is working closely with prison authorities, families, and attorneys to ensure that lawyer-inmate rights are not violated.

 

About Telmate

 

Telmate is one of North America’s leading providers of inmate communication technology. As such, the company endeavours to develop innovative technologies that offer secure connectivity solutions between inmates, friends, families, and attorneys. With this in mind, Telmate’s technology processes millions of data requests daily. These requests comprise of video visits, phone calls, messages, and fund deposits. In addition to that, the company provides inmates with secure tablets allowing inmates access to legal resources, educational content, messaging services, and entertainment.

 

As part of the company’s community outreach efforts, Telmate is a committed supporter of law enforcement activities in North America. In this pursuit, Telmate has established various community outreach programs. These programs include Telmate Heroes, Telmate Cares, and Telmate Fallen Heroes through which it recognises the efforts of fallen and active officers. It’s key tech innovations originate from its facilities in San Francisco, California with a call centre in Ontario Canada. As of this year, the company serves approximately 200 correctional facilities in 30 states as well as other correctional facilities in Canada.

 

Securus Technologies Inc., a company that offers prison telecommunications services has slapped Telmate with an unfair competition case filed in Texas. Securus Technologies alleged that Telmate used defamatory lies and false advertising about it and their CEO to gain a huge chunk of its customers. The suit filed in federal court alleged that Telmate was in violation of the Lanham Act through the misleading statements it issued in its pursuit of getting more potential customers signing contracts with them.

 

Genesis of the Suit

 

In the past one year alone, Telmate has managed to get 11 contracts with correctional facilities that were previously getting services from Securus Technologies. Further, it went on to win nine fresh contracts that the two companies were competing for. The suit claimed that Telmate invaded the privacy of their CEO, Rick Smith and also defamed him. The suit further claims that Telmate issued misleading and false statements about the quality of Securus Technologies Incorporated’s services compared to theirs. Securus claimed that its competitor engaged in wanton acts that are against the law and considered as unfair competition.

 

Rick Smith’s Defamation Case

 

Securus Technologies contends in its suit that its competitor Telmate used their CEO’s name hypothetically as an inmate to demonstrate how their call-blocking feature functions. Securus is contending that its competitor used the name “Rick Smith” to refer to a hypothetical inmate when they knew too well that it was the title of their CEO. Securus contends that this act portrays their CEO as an incarcerated person.

 

Other Claims

 

Telmate has been accused of using fake numbers to lie to customers that Securus does not promptly respond to its phone calls whereas it answers all their calls within only two rings. The suit alleges that Telmate posed a challenge to prospective customers to demonstrate the company that responded fast to their calls. However, Telmate provided a number that was not working purporting that it was the line used by Securus.

 

About Telmate

 

Telmate is an experienced telecommunications company that offers reliable and innovative technologies to drive control, efficiency and security. The company is a top provider of inmate communications systems that are secure via investigator tools, tablets, phones and video visits among others. Telmate provides its services to more than 300 correctional facilities in Canada and U.S.A.