The inmate communications industry has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late. For a long time, prisoners complained about the unreasonable rates charged by inmate communication service providers. Attorneys, therefore, decided to take legal action against various county jails for the exorbitant phone charges they impose on inmates and their loved ones.
Some of the counties that were sued include Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County and San Mateo County. The accusations against these counties are that they illegally sought the services of private firms to provide phone services and other inmate communications services in the various prisons. According to the attorneys, the private companies bribe county jail officials for the illegal renewal of their contracts and then go ahead to charge exorbitant rates to prisoners and their families.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tried to intervene by setting new rates that will ease the financial burden on inmates and their families. These faced a lot of resistance, especially from inmate communications service providers. This was because the rates charged would not be sufficient to cover the costs of providing inmate communications services. They were also not standard and this caused a lot of controversy. After considering their grievances, the FCC reviewed the rates and modified them and these were found to be more reasonable. It is still not known for sure whether the rates will be implemented or not, and when they will be implemented.
Generally, the inmate communications industry is not very well regulated and this is the main cause for all the issues that have arisen lately. Inmates and their families hope that the new rates set by the FCC will be implemented soon. In the meantime, they continue to suffer in the hands of the allegedly greedy jail officials and inmate communications service providers.
To many people, a phone-call to a friend or loved one is a banal act. As cell-phone and wireless technology has improved, the idea of being “always-connected” has spawned a backlash. But for the country’s incarcerated people and their families, simply talking to each other can be fraught with unnecessary difficulties.
Global Tel-Link Corporation, or GTL, is one of the country’s largest businesses of its kind. Its primary business is to provide phone services to inmates and their families. They provide an invaluable service by allowing hundreds of thousands of those isolated in jails and prisons across the country to maintain crucial ties to their families, ties that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. However, providing such a service should by no means excuse GTL of engaging in price gouging and gross profiteering, which target some of society’s least esteemed and poorest.
In many states according to the Consumer Affairs‘ report, GTL takes advantage of highly irrational bidding rules. In what could be described as reverse bidding, the bidder that proposes to charge the highest allowable rate wins the contract and is thus granted a monopoly. That state or local detention center will then receive a “kickback”, or concession, totaling by some estimates up to $150 million a year nationwide. GTL, as of 2013, was making over $500 million a year by charging exorbitant rates to people, often poor, and who have no other choice.
Amid a growing public outcry from ACLU and similar organizations, a number of states have banned these “kickbacks” by corporations such as Global Tel Link, and prison phone-rates have therefore been substantially reduced in those states. So it is with small steps that a society can change unfair and counterproductive practices in its institutions.
If you want to read more about Global Tel-Link, go to the following links:
They don’t even leave prisoners alone these days, apparently! In a recent online news article by Tech.Mic, it appears that the FCC can just not keep to themselves or ‘just play nice’….and particularly when it comes to capping rates on the prison industries as a whole. Especially attacked are the phone communication industries within the prisons of America.
“You may have heard of the prison industrial complex, but there is also an entire industry that just manages prison phones — the Verizons and AT&Ts of American prisons. Last week, those companies gained major ground in the fight to keep them in check.” (Smith IV, pg. 1)
This fascinating new article by Jack Smith IV is available by clicking the link below.
When you some time on your hands, I highly encourage visiting this site and reading the entire article for yourself. You will be astounded and amazed at JUST WHAT EXACTLY goes on IN DEEP DETAILS, as it relates to the daily communication industry for inmates today.
Let’s just say this: the procedures and recent caps mentioned in this particular article sure have a way of making people NOT WANT TO COMMIT CRIMES AND GO TO JAIL. That is the good side of the situation.
According to the article, it appears that the prison telecoms industry itself has been pressuring the FCC and playing its own hand of cards in every legal way possible. It seems that the FCC has in turn folded to the immense and repeated pressure, proposing a “new set of caps on what those telecoms can charge vulnerable families to keep in touch with incarcerated loved ones over the phone.” (Smith IV, pg .1)
It appears that nobody ‘plays fair’ these days…not the prison industry, not the FCC itself, and not the convicted. The world’s changed.
It is always a sad state of affairs when a customer finds themselves in a situation that they can’t get out of, no matter how hard they try and no matter what they do. In many cases, I know a lot of people are not going to feel much sympathy if any for an inmate in prison. They probably feel as though the inmate has earned their time in prison and they must pay the piper. They view it one certain way and there is little they can do to change it. However, as with most things in life, it is not black and white and it is not that easy.
There is a whole lot more to it than that. For certain people, they are in prison, because they made a mistake. It does not clear them of their mistake and it does get them out of prison, but it at least helps people understand why that person is in prison. There is a reason behind it such as theft or a small crime. Crime does not pay and it never will pay, but they deserve a chance to prove that they are better than that and they can overcome it.
IC Solutions, the inmate communications provider, would rather have you think otherwise. They see the inmate as a means to an end. They see them as a way for them to make as much money as humanely possible. They are simply in the money business, says pissedconsumer.com. They are supposed to be there to allow the inmates to speak to their families and get hope, encouragement, friendship, and support as they battle prison. While in there, those phone calls can really help them out and really get them through the hardest times of their lives. That is if IC Solutions would play fair.
Company website: icsolutions.com
The Keefe Group is a company that designs, installs and manages IT hardware and software for correctional facilities in the United States of America. One of the agency’s most innovative products is called the ENFORCER. This is a sophisticated telecommunication system that enables law enforcement to manage phone calls that involve inmates and other contacts who aren’t locked up. Since the ENFORCER is powered by the Linux operating system, it’s very flexible and dynamic enough to work with external IT solutions. For the most part, this call-monitoring system is optimized to work with the Keefe Groupe’s other proprietary publications such as the Inmate Banking System. The ENFORCER can be easily accessed via any web browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Apple Safari. Therefore, officials can monitor phone calls without actually being in their offices at prisons or jails. Available with 24/7 technical support, this telecommunication system is very reliable even when power outages occur in correctional institutions.
The Access Secure Data Detective is another signature software that’s designed specifically for the criminal justice system. This cutting-edge program as described by STL Today enables users to launch comprehensive investigations that involve inmates and other suspicious liaisons. The Access Secure Data Detective can be used to track the flow of money via multiple channels. For example, some inmates are authorized to receive monthly payments from relatives, friends and other people who are willing to deposit cash or checks. This sophisticated software searches for any suspicious patterns in the movement of electronic funds between jails and external entities. The Access Secure Data Detective is powerful enough to crack down on gang activities and other illicit operations that are secretly done by inmates. This advanced platform works well with kiosks that are already installed in correctional facilities. For example, some kiosks allow users to withdraw cash and access email messages with photo attachments.
Based in Texas, the Keefe Group has been in business since the 1970s. For generations, this corporation has transformed the American criminal justice system. This entity is also proud to support various charities such as Puppies Behind Bars, Amachi Big Brothers Big Sisters and United Way. To learn more on Keefe, go to tampabay.com.
People have been complaining about the unethical business practices of Global Tel Link for a very long time. This company is a leader in the multi-million dollar prison phone industry. According to consumeraffairs.com, the reason that inmates and their families are so outraged is because this company charges enormously high rates to make phone calls from the prisons they provide phone service to. Until recently, their pleas for reform in the ways the prison phone service industry operates have fallen on deaf ears. However, the families of inmates recently did something very smart that allowed them to get the upper hand on Global Tel Link for the first time.
The families of the inmates who are forced to use Global Tel-Link phone service at their prisons collectively contacted the Federal Communications Commission. They told the FCC what their problem was with the way that Global Tel-Link was making phone calls so expensive that inmates could not afford to call their families or legal counsel. The FCC had sympathy for what these families were going through. Along with an ACLU petition, this caused them to open an official investigation into the entire prison phone industry. This was the first time that the government had shown any interest whatsoever in the way that these companies were operating.
The FCC was dismayed at what had been going on concerning the way that prison phone companies had been taking advantage of inmates. They believed that rates were far too high. There was absolutely no justification for Global Tel Link and their competitors charging prisoners roughly one dollar for every minute they were on the phone. The FCC spent some time debating how they would handle this issue. They eventually came to the conclusion that a limit of 25 cents per minute should be implemented to prevent these companies from continuing to raise their rates in the future.
The corrections market is one of the fastest growing markets in the country. There are numerous reasons why the corrections market is growing at such a fast rate. While the reasons are varied, the increase in growth has resulted in more correction facilities and inmates. The increase in facilities and inmates has added more expansion as a whole to the correction market. This expansion has placed more demand for the products and services that are needed by correction facilities and the inmates inside the facilities.
One of the leading suppliers of products and services for the correction market is the Keefe Group. The company has been serving the correction market for over 40 years. During this time, the Keefe Group has earned a reputation in the correction market as a company that provides quality products and services. The Keefe Group provides products and services such as personal care products, clothing, software, electronics, and several others.
STL Today explains the method that the Keefe Group uses to fill orders is based on an affiliate structure. The company has a network of affiliates that provide various products and services that cover the range of products and services offered by the Keefe Group. The affiliates that the Keefe Group works with have been in operation for many years. In addition, the affiliates have been a part of the Keefe Group network of affiliates for a long time.
There are several affiliates that makeup the affiliate network that the Keefe Group uses. One of the affiliates is IC Solutions. The company is one of the leading providers of products and services in the Keefe Group affiliate network. As one of the leading suppliers of products and services in the corrections market, the Keefe Group has established a large number of clients within the correction market.
I think that the Keefe Group has done an outstanding job as a primary supplier of products and services for the correction market. As the correction market continues to grow, the need for suppliers such as the Keefe Group will also increase. As a long standing supplier for the correction market, the Keefe Group will be in position to increase the number of clients that its serves in the market.
The Keefe Group is one of the most well known suppliers of products and services in the correction market. The company has an outstanding reputation within the correction market, and the Keefe Group should be able to increase its market share in the correction market as the market continues to grow. Read more about the company on tampabay.com.