Do you want to save money on inmates telephone or communications service? Looking for great features and excellent customer service? If you are looking for a low cost or reasonably priced phone plan for inmates, it’s imperative that you choose wisely.

Numerous inmates and their family choose Keefe Group for all their prison telephone calls and other communications service. Keefe Group provides a wide range of features for communication.

Calling from prison, jail or other corrections facility is expensive. Many companies contracted as prison communications providers charge outrageous rates for inmates calls, and often have many hidden charges and fees.

Good rates on telephone or communications service are available but you need to know where to look. With so many companies out there offering to meet your needs and help you save money, it can be a daunting task to know which one to believe.

Families across the United States are in need of ways to keep in touch with their loved one without spending a ton of money. Many are now spending a huge amount and want to cut costs while having access to desirable features.

Once you know how many features and the rates you will have to pay and how they will handle support issues, you’ll be able to compare companies or plans and choose one that meets your needs.

Different plans or packages offer different features and prices, so take the time to evaluate the offers and make the right choice. For a service that accommodates everyone, Keefe Group is your clear choice.

Keefe Group is a leader in inmates phone and communications service. This renowned company has been catering to the needs of numerous customers and is well known for its reasonable phone rates and fabulous customer support.

Keefe Group has a great team and ensures that customers are pleased with their their services. I have been using their services for several months now and they respond promptly to address my concerns or issues. The customer support agents are highly knowledgeable and are  fully committed  to your satisfaction.

Visit: https://www.kununu.com/us/keefe-group

The payments and contracts made to both G.T. Enterprises and the Keefe Commissary Network have been obtained through a request made for public records. The gross revenue earned through MDOC inmate services for both companies is staggering. The Keefe Commissary earned more than $40 million with G.T Enterprises following with $3 million. The original contract with the Keefe Commissary Network originated on November 5th of 2008 and has already seen several renewals. The last time it was renewed was in 2011 and it set to expire on August 31st of 2015. Chris Epps signed all of the contracts and was the commissioner at the time.

Know more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/prison-services-are-profitable-niche-for-bridgeton-company/article_62560bec-4010-5342-9e11-5d647aecba2a.html

The following services have been delegated to the Keefe Commissary Network:

* The processing of all inmate deposits

* The processing of all inmate trust funds

* The sale of all prepaid debit cards

* Exclusivity of the sales of all song downloads at a price of $1.70 per song to the inmates with a profit to MDOC of $0.10 per song

* Exclusivity of the sales of music players or MP3’s at a price of $115 and sales tax with a profit to MDOC pf $15 per player

* Exclusivity of the sales of all commissary items including tobacco, products for personal hygiene and food. The commission rate of 29.4 percent is paid for sales at prisons state operated and 24 percent at prisons privately operated by the Keefe Commissary Network.

* Ten percent of the amount for the total sales of visitation bags is deducted by the Keefe Commissary Network every month.

Cecil McCrory owned G.T. Enterprises until 2008 when he sold the company to the Keefe Group. The contract with MDOC started June 1st of 2006 and it was amended in 2007. This contract guaranteed G.T. Enterprises the exclusive rights to sell commissary products at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility. The management company operated by Mr. McCrory was operating in the prison as well. The company was responsible for withholding 20 and 24 percent of the sales tax from the sales made to the inmates. This amount jumped to 28 percent in 2007. Mr. McCory and Mr. Epps have been found guilty on 49 bribery and fraud counts by a grand jury. Visit The Dispatch to know more about Keefe Group.

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]

 

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.

 

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 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.

For most of the history of the U.S. prison system, there has been a heated debate about what the proper place, if any, should be for private enterprise in the nation’s prisons and jails. In recent times, one of the areas where this debate has been most pronounced is in the role that services companies, such as inmate calling firms, should have and how they should be allowed to set rates.

Unfortunately for inmates and their families, the role of these private enterprises has often turned out to be quite antagonistic to the interests of the end users of the prison calling services. Many jurisdictions have long been plagued by exorbitant rates. In some cases, these rates have been so high that almost no one can afford to regularly use them. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.

Take, for example, the state of Arizona. There, inmate calling rates have soared to as high as $1.50 per minute. At these rates, a simple 15 minute phone call runs over $22. This is unsustainable for any inmate who wishes to stay in constant touch with his family and loved ones. Read more about GTL on NYTimes.

What’s worse, the entire problem seems to be not only condoned but encouraged. In one case, a prison in Arizona had a competitive bidding process, where companies were awarded a total of 1550 points. 1250 points were awarded on the sole criteria of how much money out of every dollar earned from inmate phone calls the company promised to kick back to the facility. Only 300 points were awarded for all other factors combined, including quality of service, equipment and competence of the firm’s staff.

Watch this video on youtube.com

It’s no wonder, then, that the state of Arizona has both the highest prison calling rates as well as the highest commissions kept by its jails and prisons of anywhere else in the United States.

Watch more videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs3WHNzOcj4

The United States prison system has a long and complex history that has involved going from one extreme philosophy to the other. At the beginning of the U.S. prison system, it was widely thought that isolation was the best means to rehabilitation. However, over the years, it has widely become recognized by penologists that isolation is itself extremely detrimental. For this reason, many modern penologists, psychologist and advocates for prisoner rights are strongly supportive of inmates’ ability to maintain as much communication with the outside world and law-abiding citizens as possible. It is widely believed that this communication is the key component of successfully rehabilitating those who have gone criminally astray.

The first state prisons in the United States were built in the 1820s. One of those prisons was the State Correctional Facility at Auburn New York. This prison served as an experimental institution. At that time, it was widely believed that extreme isolation, ascetic living conditions and general introspection were the best way to rehabilitate habitual criminals. This system took on the name of the prison where it was first implemented, becoming known as the Auburn System.

The Auburn System persisted as the main philosophy of carceral administrators throughout the 19th century in America. However, slowly, the nation’s prison administrators and criminologists came to the conclusion that extreme isolation and imposed silence were not psychologically salutary conditions in which to house inmates. In fact, by the end of the 19th century it was widely recognized that the Auburn system caused many inmates to go completely insane and to recidivate at even higher rates than they would have normally been subject to.

Today, many prisoner rights advocates view it as absolutely crucial that inmates have access to inexpensive phone calls so that they can maintain contact with the outside world.

Inmates are really enjoying the tablets that they are being given to use by the prison systems in certain jurisdictions. These are known as Telmate tablets and they recently reported that there have been a total of 150 million minutes used by inmates on these tablets in just three years.

It was in 2013 that these tablets first started to become a part of the prison system in certain areas. It was a big deal for the inmates who wanted to have access to the outside world in a big way. This was their way to do it because they could use the tablets to watch movies, play games, and even connect to certain parts of the Internet in some cases.

While most prisons charge the inmates a set price per minute that they use the tablets, it is still a very popular program with those behind bars. They finally get to see what is happening in the broader world or even connect with their families.

Tablets in prisons also have uses beyond just entertainment. They can be used by inmates to study for classes that will help them get their GED or even get some college credit. It is perfect because it gives them a head start when they leave the prison to get back into the working world.

More than 8 million messages have been sent and received on the tablets as well since they were rolled out. It is great news for the company that makes the tablets as it seems that the inmates are really taking to them. It may also be great news for the prisons that have them as well as it can reduce instances of violence and unruliness in general. Plus, a more educated inmate is always a good thing in the long run.

Incarceration is not necessarily a form of punishment, rather, it is a progressive measure supervised by government law enforcing bodies such as law courts and correctional facility officers to provide better lives for inmates after they are released. The truth is that most of the inmates will eventually leave prison after serving their sentences. It is, therefore, important to pass on the relevant knowledge to them through education while they are still in jail so as to prepare them for a real life within the society in the future.
As more knowledge is passed to the inmates, they become less likely to involve themselves in criminal activities which may lead them back to incarceration. Securus Ltd is fully participating in the correctional process by offering and investing in advanced communication tools that are aimed at improving the communication status witnessed in the correctional facilities.
The company has its headquarter situated in Dallas, Texas and serves more than 3,500 correction, law safety, and public safety agencies. It provides communication services to over 1,200, 000 inmates across North America. The company’s primary commitment is to see a transformed prison status through the power of connectivity. The achievement of this goal entails providing emergency response, public information, biometric analysis, data management, incident management, investigations, inmate self-service, communication, and monitoring goods and services in a quest of creating a better place to live. The company’s primary focus is “connecting what matters.”
The company consistently ensures that it works at the highest level of integrity so as to have a competitive advantage over its many competitors. Integrity as a virtue has been incorporated into the organization’s Customer Integrity Pledge that was published in 2012. The written pledge directs the company’s efforts were making life easy for inmates, their families, friends and the entire correctional community. The virtue also describes the company’s customer services, standards for contracting out services, policies against corruption, truthfulness, providing security features, honesty in response to requests for proposal, and much more.