Category Archives: Inmate Communications Technology

Have Prisoners Now Become Money?

It’s evident in the recent past that private agencies are soliciting funds from inmates. I suggest this should be stopped with immediate effect. The inmates’ relatives and guardians are crying foul of the high financial burden. I strongly recommend the state to take over control of the correctional facilities instead of private agencies.

 

High rates of corruption and bribery have been witnessed in the correctional facilities. For instance, Keefe Food Group, a subsidiary of the Centric Group LLC, has been found to have obtained several no-bid contracts in the county, state, and even the federal systems. I encourage a just fight against Keefe Food Group, and its parent company, Centric Group LLC. As it can be seen, from the services that it offers the inmates in Mississippi Department Of Corrections (MDOC), Keefe has earned over $40 million, and G.T. Enterprises earned over $3 million gross revenue. Keefe Group was bought from G.T. Enterprises in 2008 and began the contracts. Although the contracts have been renewed several times, Keefe continues to service the inmates. The company even increased inmate taxes from 24% to 28%. I think this is too high given that the inmates do not have any source of income since they rely on their relatives and guardians for financial support.

 

Keefe alone owns the rights to offer the inmates are as follows:

 

  • Selling commissary items such as food, personal hygiene items, and tobacco.
  • Processing inmates financial deposits.
  • Selling music players (MP3), ad song downloads

 

Additionally, Keefe obtained 10% monthly revenue from all the money raised by selling “visitation bags.” But why allow only one company have more exclusive rights to offer inmates services than other companies? I think the opportunities should be distributed equally to several qualified bidders.

 

No-bid contracts should also be made away with because they have contributed to private agencies monopolizing the prisons. I recommend that several companies, regardless of their dollar amount, should be allowed to participate in the competitive bid process, and the contracts awarded to only qualified bidders. That will be an effective strategy to promote transparency in the government.

 

Also for transparency purposes, it’s also recommendable that we have all vendors that are contracting with the state agency file a disclosure agreement showing the amount of fees paid for their bid, and also disclose the name of the agent who helped them secure the contract. The state agents would then have to post in the public domain reasons indicating why they awarded the contracts to specific companies.

 

The above strategies to obtain state transparency are an effective measure to prevent corruption and other acts of bribery.

 

Global Tel-Link Quality Services to Correctional Facilities

Global Tel Link is an American telecommunication company providing Inmate Calling Service. It also specializes in providing education solutions to inmates and payment services for the government. The educational services assists in rehabilitating the inmates. The calling service, on the other hand, is a cohesive information technology solutions offered primarily to correctional services. The services include inmates deposit and payment, management of facilities and visitation solutions.

 

The company was founded in 1980 and was initially called Global Telcoin Incorporation and Global Tel*Link Corporation. It changed its name to Global Tel Link in 1999. The company has its headquarters in Reston, Virginia State. The company has additional regional branches in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Indiana, and California.

 

Global Tel-Link Corporation is a major player in the industry alongside Securus Technologies. Global Tel-Link is in charge of nearly 50% of the industry for correctional facilities. It was sold to the American Securities, a private firm based in New York in 2011 for $1 billion. In 2014, the company announced that it reached its highest record of 2.5 prison million calls. The calls totaled to three billion minutes.

 

Apart from providing calling services, GTL also provides correctional education. The educational training services reduce the reoffending rates among the inmates. The company’s Learning Management System (LMS), offers training opportunities to the various groups of the inmates including juvenile offenders, parolees, inmates employed in prison industries and probationers among others.

 

Global Tel-Link offers its correctional and technology services to at least 2,300 facilities with over 1.8 million inmates across 50 states in the United States of America. The company is governed by a group of elite professionals. Brian Oliver is the CEO of the company in charge of all the executive duties. The president of the company is Jeffrey Haidinger who is also its Chief Operating Officer.

 

The Keefe Group Raises Questions Which Might Not Have Answers

Every now and then I like to just sit down and see what’s going on in the world. Like most people with a bit of curiosity, that means I sit down to read the Internet. But unlike most people, and even unlike my normal routine, today I sat down to read about the prison industry. It hadn’t started out that way. I’d actually been looking for ideas about healthy eating.

 

But what I found was a man talking about his sad fate of being forced away from healthy eating. It was a worrisome enough prospect when I thought that just voting for statewide prison edicts might change things. But the issue looks to be a lot deeper than the prisons themselves. It’s actually a threaded journey into a company called the Keefe Group. The prisoner reports that most of his issues actually come from that company. And this is where things begin to get a little more confusing.

 

The Keefe Group isn’t technically related to prisons at all. This is also part of the problem. If the Keefe Group was an official part of the prison system than they’d be held up to higher standards. But prisons have the ability to contract out services to 3rd party companies if they feel the need to. The intent is obviously good. It’s a provision put in place to ensure that prisoner’s needs are met. But the end result isn’t so good. It’s ensuring that the prison system can essentially leapfrog over nutritional standards. There’s also ethical issues involved when one considers that prisons are sometimes able to even profit from it. Prisons, obviously, are not meant to be a for profit institution built on prisoner suffering.

 

The issue here is that there’s no obvious solutions. Everything is legal, and there’s not a huge chance of the public suddenly demanding huge changes. I only lucked into finding out about it. And the public at large can’t be expected to look into what’s essentially a rather depressing situation. The main hope is that prisons decide enough is enough and increase the standards for their contracts. This at least has some chance of forcing the Keefe Group into better performance.

 

While some prisons charge too much for phone calls, many are reasonably cheap

Throughout the history of the U.S. prison system, a debate has long raged about the proper price of an outgoing phone call. One of the main issues that has arisen is the fact that jurisdictions may vary wildly in the priced that inmates are charged. This can be seen across the country, even at the state level, where states like Arizona charge up to $1.50 per minute to make outgoing phone calls while neighboring states may charge as little as $0.15 per minute for the same service.

 

This is giving rise to many horror stories. For example, Heather Kofalt has been forced to pay more than $3,000 per year to stay in contact with her incarcerated husband. In fact, her husband was convicted of nothing more than stealing $400 worth of dental accessories. Unfortunately, it ended up being his third strike, sending him to prison for a number of years. In order to stay in contact with her husband, Heather Kofalt has been forced to pay incredibly high amounts of money each week. This is a direct result of the deal that the prison phone company, Global Tel Link, has struck with that particular institution. The company is paying up to 90 percent of all revenues generated through calling taking place on it systems back to the institution.

 

Deals such as this are common in the prison phone industry. Known as legal kickbacks, these commissions that prison phone companies pay to the institution in which they are allowed to operate can constitute significant revenues for the prisons themselves. Although cases involving rates as exorbitant as those in the case of Heather Kofalt do exist, the truth is that the majority of prisons in which Global Tel Link operates give inmates rates as low as $0.15 per minute. At these rates, it is possible for the majority of inmates to stay in nearly constant touch with their loved ones, leading to strong and lasting relationships, even the inmates themselves go through a difficult life circumstance.

 

IC Solutions: Don’t Give Up Or Give In

When someone is forced to deal with a company like IC Solutions, they want the customer to give up and they want them to give in as that means they win. The key is not to give up when it comes to a company like IC Solutions, the inmate phone provider. If people keep fighting back against them and keep doing their part to let the world know what this company is up to, I’m a firm believer they will be out of business. I have no doubt about it, in my mind. In the end, good always defeats evil. It will always be that way, no matter what.Right now, it might seem like IC Solutions has the upper hand and they are winning all of the battles. That is only in the moment, though. There is a lot more going on that people are unaware of when it comes to a company like IC Solutions and there are ways to bring them down.

It takes a team and it takes everyone believing in one another and everyone being on the same page. In the end, everyone wants the same thing, which is to speak to the inmate behind bars. They want to be there for them, help them, and guide them during this very trying and difficult time in their life. This story here http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-289944.html , is about a parent that wishes to speak to their child that is behind bars. It is a very scary for the child, I would imagine, and the parent is probably filled with a lot of fear, anxiety, and worry, which is only natural when it comes to a child being behind bars. They have lost almost one hundred dollars in an attempt to reach the child. They still have not talked to the child. This is why people need to say something now.

Keefe Group Correctional Facilities Services

Having been in service to city, county and state correctional facilities since 1975, the Keefe Group provides food products, as well as personal care items, electronics and clothing to prison inmates and to their families and friends who want to buy and send their incarcerated loved ones the products. The company is responsible for packaging and distributing the much-needed items to the facilities.

 

The automated commissary management service has its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, but it has operational facilities all over the nation, which serves over 500,000 inmates on a weekly basis. The 6 affiliate companies of the Keefe Group are: Access Securepak; Keefe Commissary Network; IC Solutions; Access Corrections; Keefe Supply Company; and Advanced Technologies Group.

 

The Keefe Group works with name-brand companies, but have their own private-label brands as well. They sell food products, such as, meat snacks, Ramen noodles, cookies, seafood and ready-to-eat meals, just to name a few. And the personal items they sell are, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, lotions and shaving products. Other merchandies, like underwear, shoes, pants, headphones, clocks and watches are also available for purchase.

 

The company, which is led by its president, Thomas Keefe, first started in the correctional market by selling packets of single-serve coffee to a prison in Florida. They went on to start selling their products full-time to correctional commissaries, later becoming one of the leading providers of food, personal, electronic, and clothing items to prison facilities all over the country.

 

Their Access Securepak Program is designed to make sure that no contraband makes it into the prison along with the care packages that the inmates’ families and friends may send to them. This is an effective program to have in place due to the fact that there are now more inmates and their families ordering packages from this service.

 

The prison and county jail commissaries business is a very lucrative one, usually bringing in about $1.6 billion a year from its sales. Since more of these types of correctional facilities have started outsourcing their commissary services to businesses like the Keefe Group, the company has continued to have steady financial growth.

 

The Keefe Group, which is owned by Andrew Taylor, who is its Executive Chairman, and by his father, Jack Taylor, is one of the top 3 companies in the prison commissaries market. The other two are, Trinity and Aramark, but Keefe has maintained its position in the market by being able to stay competitive in its bidding on prison commissary outsourcing production opportunities. That’s probably part of the reason why the Trinity Services Group initiated a merger with them a year ago, because together, those two companies could almost completely eliminate the only other competition they have.

 

Stalemate alongside Prison Communications, The Telmate

The recognition of Telmate is on the rise alongside the provision of the prisoner phones together with the video visitation, the inmate tablets, the investigation tools, mobile applications as well as the service of secure messaging. It is in San Francisco, California that the company headquarters is situated.

 

Securus Technologies Company has done a lot in facilitating the implementation of the outstanding and potential ideas. It is, however, worth acknowledging the fact that the opponents were never contented. It is for this reason that they decided to denounce the firm’s Chief Executive Officer. The intention, in this case, was nothing apart from snatching the clients. They hoped that it would result in the downgrading the potential of Securus in line with the duties that it took part in.

 

As a result, Securus submitted a petition at the Law Court of Texas. The allegation, in this case, was that Telmate LLC executed a campaign drill that was wicked and went beyond the expectations. The outcome of this was an interference with their activities as well as the way in which they relate to clients. Besides, they also highlighted that the Lanham Act had been violated.

 

Worth acknowledgment is the consistency in the way handlers of Telmate debated against the means that were put in place during the time the other firms handled them. The argument alongside this is the fact the only freedom they had was that of making deposits of their money. They would, however, not make calls to follow as they needed. Despite the attempts by the representatives of The Telmate’s Client Care to give a justification for their failures, their stand in the course of argument was invalid. The reason is that the cards are ever valid and their utilization happens only once.

 

Additionally, Telmate contributed a lot in line with the application and adaptation of a three-way call. Even though it never turned out to be a success, the attempt was an excellent idea. The explanation as to why it wasn’t three-way is simple. The reason is that it only progressed between two individuals and not three.

 

Telmate has recorded some positive advances in the course of its operation. Additionally, the initiative that it has in place acts as the evidence that it is destined for greatness.

 

A Look at the lawsuit against Telmate

On August 23, 2011, Prisons Telecommunications Company by the name Securus Technologies Inc. filed an unfair competition suit against its rival company in Texas. Securus Technologies claimed that the rival company used defamatory lies and false advertising about the company and the CEO to drive their customer’s away. Securus which is a Dallas corporation, filed suit in federal court claiming that Oregon-based Telmate LLC conducted a malicious campaign to interfere with Securus business relations. The complaint argued that Telmate breached the Lanham Act by using misleading statements about its success in an attempt to lure customers sign up for contracts.

 

Securus argued that Telmate was engaging itself in acts of unfair competition that was contrary to the law and fundamental notions of business propriety. Securus suggested that Telmate was out to defame their CEO, Rick Smith, as well as invade his privacy. Securus also claimed that Telmate was making false statements about the quality of services offered by Securus. Securus also suggested that Telmate used fake phone numbers to deceive customers into believing that Securus does not answer its phone calls. This suggested that Telmate answers their phone calls almost immediately. According to Securus, Oregon company announced a challenge to the potential customers to see which company answered its phone calls faster. Unfortunately, Oregon gave out an old and out-of-service number for Securus.

 

The suit alleged that Telmate increased their revenue by $900 thus making $2,200 every month at facilities that had previously been clients of Securus. Securus declared that it increased that revenue before Telmate took over. The suit also alleged that Telmate lied in exaggeration about its success where it claimed that it had been offering inmate communication services since the year 1988. This was not the case since it had only been providing those services since 2005.

 

The suit stated that Telmate said it won a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when this was not the case. According to the suit, the contract was given to a separate company that in turn subcontracted some of its work to Telmate. Securus is applying for a jury trial as well as an injunction against Telmate to keep it from the alleged unlawful advertising practices and actual statutory damages.

 

How the Keefe Group is Changing Inmate Lives

Keefe Group is a private institution that delivers quality products and services to correctional facilities in the United States. The organization offers these facilities products such as software solutions, electronic equipment, clothes, telecommunication devices, personal effects, and foodstuffs. The Keefe Group has been in the competitive market since 1975, and it has won the hearts of very many people who are looking for excellent services. The private company is highly commendable, and this is why it has done so well despite the high competition.

 

Unlike most of its competitors, the Keefe Group makes sure that it incorporates fresh ideas in its products and services. The packaging is also out of this world so that the customer is left satisfied. Most of the individuals who have used the services from the company say that they got the best. The institution has grown significantly since it was established several decades ago.

 

Thanks to the growth, the Keefe Group has successfully managed to form various subsidiaries. Some of these include IC Solutions, Keefe Supply Company, the Keefe Commissary and many others. The group of companies has worked hard to conquer the competitive market in the last four decade.

 

The professionals working at the Keefe Group have played a fundamental role in the success of the institution. These individuals understand the importance of quality services, especially for the people who are incarcerated. When these people are not given the kind of services they need, then they can reform fast and become better persons in the society. Being in prison does not make the inmates better people if they are not given the kind of services they deserve.

 

The services from the private institution are very affordable. Most of the private companies in the competitive market have been doing their best to offer excellent services to the inmates, but they have been charging extravagant prices for the products and services they have been offering. Although these services are crucial, most people in the prisons cannot afford them. Keefe Group is slowly changing the department, and it is looking forward to making the lives of inmates better in the future.

 

Global Tel-Link Prefers to Punish the Innocent

Global Tel-Link is a communications company that provides calling services for correctional institutions. The company last sold in 2011 for one billion dollars and controls fifty percent of the market for jail and prison phone calls. Unfortunately, for the average person (the ones not inside the institution walls) having someone you love behind bars, ends up being punishment for the innocent.

GTL is not only capitalizing on the innocent but is preying on a very vulnerable and delicate situation. Having been an acquaintance of an incarcerated person, I can speak to this victimization first hand. The cost of each phone call to my loved one was approximately $5.00, give or take. With processing fees taken out, this figure sank even lower. Sadly, even this small number eventually dwindled to a mere dollar or two, which is just enough for three to five minutes. All told, I spent well over $1000.00 in a six-month period, just to keep in contact with someone I love. To put that in perspective, my cell phone bill for the corresponding time totaled $240.00.

I am in college, living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the outrageous fees that GTL charges. As a result, my ability to communicate with my loved one was severely limited. Not only is this disheartening for both parties, it creates a victim out of an innocent person. Should friends and relatives of the incarcerated be financially punished, just for knowing the person? While we live in a capitalist society, and this is truly capitalization of the highest degree, morality needs to be taken into consideration. After all, isn’t that what got us here in the first place?

While it may be a smart business move for GTL to capitalize on this much-needed service, it is at the expense of those who don’t deserve this kind of punishment. Keeping in contact with those we love is an essential part of rehabilitation. It helps us maintain family ties, and allows us to cope with a stressful and difficult situation. Incarceration has the power to rip families and friends apart. Adding insult to injury, Global Tel-Link seeks to capitalize on our misfortune.