Global-Tel Link is a telecommunications company who makes exclusive contracts with prisons and jails on the local, state, and government level. One of the luxuries people take for granted every day is the ability to go to a competitor if they’re not pleased with the services or prices of the current company they’re handing their money over too.
Inmates don’t have this luxury and if anything, it’s a burden on them and their family members. Global-Tel Link and other private telecommunications companies charge a premium for family members and inmates to stay in touch with one another. Families can easily spend up to several hundred dollars just to stay in touch with their loved ones. And this is just a chance to be able to speak with loved ones on the inside on a weekly basis, attempting to do it on a daily basis will probably result in a few more hundred dollars each month.
According to a post in Prison Talk, a user by the name of JamaicanChula reported they had an issue with Global-Tel Link recently. They were called in the middle of the night to collect a call from a loved one in prison, but their phone couldn’t accept the collect calls. They were then requested to hand out some account information so they could be billed for the call and the money could be collected.
The user did some digging and came to two conclusions about the issue. Either it’s scam pretending to be Global-Tel Link or the company itself is hoping people or naïve enough to set up prepaid accounts. This is disconcerting and puts the company in a bad light, but they weren’t in a good one, to begin with. The telecommunications industry alone makes a couple billion a year from the profit it makes off of the misfortune of inmates and their family members.https://action.aclu.org/global-tel
The Keefe Group was established in 1975 with the aim of making changes in the delivery of goods and services to the correctional facilities in the country. For the past four decades, the company has been making huge improvements in the quality of the products and the services delivered to the criminal justice systems. They managed to change the packaging of goods meant for the prisons, reduced the incidences of the goods produced being used in crimes and created products that are safe and suitable for inmates in all the correctional facilities all over the country.
While it is true that the company has been facing a few challenges in the past few months, one cannot deny that they have achieved a lot in the delivery of supplies such as food, clothes, snacks, communication services and even money transfers to the inmates. They also provide health and beauty products, television systems, pharmaceuticals and management of video visits and commissary management. The Keefe Group is part of the larger organization known as the Centric Group. Learn more on STL Today about Keefe Group.
One of the recent complaints that have been made about the group is about the corruption in the prison systems. The company is said to be making millions of dollars at the expense of the prisoners. Reports indicate that the cause of the state of affairs is that the company enjoys a monopoly on the supply of these services. The Keefe Group has however responded to these claims by asserting that they are just a victim of a system which they have little control over. They added that for quite a while, they had been required to pay some fees to the big players in the issue of tenders to get a chance to supply their goods and services to the systems. They also claim that they are not in a position to change the system because their lack of cooperation will only put them out of business.
Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=39055
The president of the company, Thomas Keefe, states that the only way to end the endemic corruption within the correctional facilities is uprooting the invisible corrupt players. He asserts that they have done their best in lowering calling rates, but more needs to be done to improve the entire system in general. Know more about Keefe Group on kununu.com
The great think about the new era of inmate communication is that there is always something new and exciting in the world of technology. So many companies have stepped up to the plate and given people an opportunity to communicate in a better way. The world of inmate communication has improved quite a bit, but I don’t think that anyone has managed to do what Global Tel-Link has managed to do.
This prison technology company is based in Virginia, but this is a company that has managed to spread out and acquire customers worldwide. The solutions that are offered by this company are abundant, but I believe that Inmate communication solutions are the most well-known things for most families. I know that there are things like inmate messaging and inmate telephone systems that have totally changed the way that people communicate. I like the fact that people on the inside can receive the electronic messages. This type of communication is so much easier than actually trying to call an inmate. I know that people that are going to be able to connect better when they have access to people through the inmate messaging. Read more on PR News Wire about GTL.
I know that there are a lot of people that are going to still go to the prisons, but Global Tel-Link has made it possible for me to skip the prison visits. I had the thought of going to the prison, and I believe that the video visit is just the best thing that I have ever encountered. I do not have to travel anymore, and I think that GTL has the best video solutions for all of those that are interested in a convenient travel method.
I think that this company has become the best at this type of innovator because Global Tel-Link has been doing it for so long. This company has been around for close to three decades. That is quite impressive. It makes it easy for people like myself to trust in the services that are offered through Global Tel-Link. I think that this company is great because it is giving people access to the cutting-edge technology that they need to communicate better with inmates. Watch this video on youtube.com
I like the fact that I can get a visitation in with my cousin through my smart tablet. The convenience of all of this is great. The line of communication is so much better with Global Tel-Link.
Know more: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/global_tel_link.html
There was widespread public outcry when it emerged that calling any of the correctional facilities in the country was costing over ten times more than the normal rate, even for the same area codes. What was even more worrying was the fact that there are certain companies that seem to be getting the lion’s share of the proceeds that come from these exploits, and an invisible hand that supports them as they keep milking the families of the prisoners dry. Research shows that a phone call to jail would cost up to $14 per minute and families of the inmates spend up to $2000 annually to stay in touch.
While the federal communications commission seemed to have helped the situation when they capped the call rates, the reality is that nothing much came out of this move. The fact that there are still private companies offering these ICT services, and that the process used to bid for the calls is still not transparent, means that the struggle is far from over for the inmates and their families. The problem may not be the phone companies per se, it is the commissions that are demanded from them by the prison systems. The companies often find themselves having to add hidden charges to the call rates to break even after paying these commissions.
These are the abuses that the system wants to put an end to. Surprisingly, companies like Securus are threatening to act against these rulings because they feel as if their hands are going to be tied. The other ways in which the family members of the prisoners are being fleeced include commissaries that help send consumables, money transfer services that sometimes charge as high as 35 percent of the money being transferred and at times even encumbrances from fees charged as part of the sentencing.
If the system is to become fair to both the inmates and their families, some serious changes need to be done.
The jail authorities in Mississippi must do something about several contracts with the no-bid specification. Maybe the processes of streamlining the tenders given to various organizations that supply necessities to prisoners should be reviewed. I believe it is the only way that correction departments can ensure competitiveness to facilitate getting better and cheaper deals. I have nothing particular against Keefe Group, but the mere fact that one of the commissioners recently indicted on corruption charges is closely linked to the organization is disturbing.
Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/corporate/gainesville-businessmen-admit-paying-bribes-to-florida-prison-officials/1173073
The task force responsible for overseeing the streamlining of the process which met recently should speed up the recommendations they have in mind so that there can be fairness in tender awarding. I believe that all the lawmakers will support Gov. Phil Brant to ensure the new measures are passed in the legislative assembly. I am not surprised the governor saw the necessity to appoint the five-member task force after another Commissioner for Incarceration know as Epps, and a business colleague called Mr. McCory also faced contract corruption charges by the federal government. Even though the two accomplices have pleaded not guilty as charged, I guess their trial will expose a lot of rot in the system. Visit The Dispatch to know more about Keefe Group.
I am sure one of the attorneys involved in the case, Andy Taggart, who is also the co-chairman of the fact-finding committee was sincere when he said that the recommended acts were intended to make the government more transparent. I am happy that although he conceded the uphill task involved in preventing bribery and other acts of corruption despite the presence of tight regulations and laws, the new legislation would make it extremely hard for the perpetrators to carry on their activities blatantly. I am pissed out by the fact that several Correction Departments have contracts with no bids that need to be put up for competitive tendering. The department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher pointed out where such contracts are in Health Assurance LLC based in Jackson, and Management and Training Corporation managing prisons in Mississippi but headquartered in Utah. Keefe Group which is Missouri-based also independently provides commissary facilities in Prisons in Mississippi. All these vagaries should be terminated. Know more about Keefe Group on kununu.com
Physically separated from family and friends, one would think that at the very least, prison inmates would have the ability to stay connected with them over the phone. That was the case until the 1990s. Due to the exorbitant rates and fees charged by a handful of companies which dominate what has developed into a multi-billion dollar industry, now inmates can stay in touch with family and friends only if they can afford it.
This situation has forced low-income inmates and their families of friends of to make the excruciating choice of either spending thousands of dollars on phone calls which they can ill afford or remaining disconnected from their loved ones. Visit consumerist.com to know more about GTL.
In October 2015, by a 3-2 vote, the FCC mandated an over 50% rate reduction for state and interstate calls to between 11 cents and 22 cents per minute. However, Global Tel Link and other prison phone companies sued over the rate changes. Following a DC Court of Appeals decision which blocked some of the rate changes from taking effect, the FCC revised the caps with new rates which were scheduled to take effect in December 2016 for prisons, and for jails in March 2017.
Under the Trump administration, however, federal regulators have halted efforts to cut the costs of most prison phone calls. Soon after President Trump appointed Ajit Pai, who had voted against the initial rate cut, to head the FCC, the commission’s attorneys reversed their position and informed the court that the they no believe that the agency has the authority to cap intrastate rates. Watch this video about GTL on Youtube.
Global Tel Link is charging astronomical rates to prisoners and their families, making it too expensive for families to stay connected. The separation from family and friends which accompanies a prison sentence is agonizing enough. It becomes that much more unbearable when it is not economically viable to stay in contact over the phone. Advocates for fair-minded public policy positions should not put this issue to rest until our inmates’ basic rights are protected. And sadly, with the FCC reversing its previous position, it doesn’t look like this unfortunate situation is going to change anytime soon.
Read more: https://action.aclu.org/global-tel
A few years ago, one of the most popular entertainment programs available was the Serial podcast. In this podcast, each episode started with a phone call between an inmate of a prison and a reporter. Each call also stated that it was brought and transmitted by Global Tel Link.
While this did provide Global Tel Link with some free publicity, it also has opened the public’s eye and continued the discussion about excess phone call charges being assessed to inmates. Overall, there were over 40 hours of phone calls made between the inmate and the reporter. It has been estimated that these calls could have cost the inmate, or the reporter, over $2,500. The estimate is based on the excessive maximum rate charged today, which is nearly $1 per minute. This is compared to most phone plans today that offer unlimited outbound and inbound calls at much lower overall rates.
These excessive rates have impacted inmates across the country. According to globaltellinkreviews.com, today, facilities that are served by Global Tel Link and other similar companies are making it nearly impossible for inmates to stay connected at an affordable price. While there has been a lot of scrutiny over this practice, not much has been done to stop or slow the increased costs. The FCC has made over-charging illegal for inter-state calls, but they have done very little for calls made within the same state.
The strong profits have allowed the phone call providers to make a lot of money and build very valuable businesses. Global Tel Link was recently acquired by a private equity firm for over $1 billion and rates have continued to increase since that acquisition. At this point, it remains to be seen what individual states and facilities will do to try and reduce the over-charging.
Read the review: https://www.yelp.com/biz/global-tel-link-houston
Prisoner rights advocates have long targeted the prison phone system as being unfair. The complaints are many, but they usually center around the fact that it is often the inmates’ families, not the convicts themselves, who end up footing the monthly phone bills for prison telephone services. These bills can be outrageously steep.
These advocates including ACLU often have unrealistic views of what can be accomplished, however. Some of them believe that there should be a rate cap of just 7 cents per minute. Others believe that prison phone calls should be subsidized by the taxpayers and free to inmates. These ideas are not likely to take hold any time soon.
The advocates have no shortage of compelling anecdotes. In many of the worst cases, there really are families, many of whom are living in grinding poverty, who end up paying $5,000 per year, money that they clearly cannot afford, just so that their children can have a father. It’s almost impossible not to sympathize with their plight. But as in every social question, there is a balance that must be struck between individual inconvenience and the greater public good.
What the advocates fail to mention in their vilification of companies like Global Tel Link, which have actually done a remarkable job of keeping phone rates low in most prisons where they operate, is that most of the money that these inmates and their families pay goes directly to the operating budgets of the prisons. This money, in turn, keeps the incarcerated loved ones of these families safer. In fact, reveals consumeraffairs.com, the U.S. prison system is one of the safest in the world, precisely because it has the funds to keep properly staffed and maintain up-to-date, secure facilities.
But without that revenue from companies like GTL, it could begin to look more like the prison systems of Brazil or Honduras, where inmates, once imprisoned, are unlikely to be seen or heard from again.
After 14 years of campaigning for prison phone calls regulation, advocates for prisoners together with their families managed to attract the attention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In October 2015, FCC announced the new rates. According to these rates, caps per-minute in federal or state prisons would be 11 cents while it will cost 22 cents per-minute in local jails. The new caps are fair compared to previous year’s charges, which went as high as 89 cents. An FCC commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, expressed her excitement through her touching speech, explaining how happy she was that the issue was addressed after a long time.
A Republican Commissioner, Pai, also pointed out how the contraband cell phone trade has been violated in Georgia prisons, without making direct links to the culprits. However, Global Tel-Link and Securus, the two main phone services providers at correctional facilities, did not receive the news well. The chief executive officer of Global Tel-link, Brian Oliver, condemned FCC’s new rules by saying that it would create financial instability in their company. This situation will in turn hurt the same inmates that the body is trying to protect. Conversely, Securus argued that the new rate caps are way below their cost of business and vowed to appeal to the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
However, the new FCC rules left out two major issues surrounding the controversy of the inmate communications. One is the expensive video chat services that limit in-person visitations. The second is the prison telecom industries where prison facilities sign contacts with specific service providers who charge high fees to prisoners in an attempt to deal with rivalry in paying back the prisons. The executive director of the prison policy initiative, Peter Wagner, has been advocating on the elimination of these site commissions. However, he sees it as a worthless venture since companies will always have other ways of bribing the sites. This information was originally reported on Bloomberg as provided in the link below http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-22/is-this-the-end-of-sky-high-prison-phone-call-rates-
Across the country, inmate’s families are being held prisoner by exorbitant phone call rates. Global Tel-Link, the phone carrier of choice for many prisons, charges fees that are cost-prohibitive for many prisoner families. As Global Tel-Link provides all phone services to many prisons across the U.S., families have no choice but to pony up for expensive collect calls [watch this YouTube video]. These high rates mean many prisoners will lose touch with their loved ones and their vital links to the outside world.
How Global Tel-Link Works
When a prisoner wants to make phone calls home, he is allowed a certain amount of time each day to use the phone. The recipient of these calls has to accept and pay for each call. Rates for calls can be more than $1.00 per minute for calls between states. This means that a family with an inmate incarcerated in California will have to pay nearly $18 for a 15-minute phone call with their loved one. In addition, Global Tel-Link charges a commission on each call—funds that go directly into the prison’s coffers.
The Fight Against Fees
Now people are fighting back. According to LAw360.com, families of inmates have filed class action lawsuits against the provider, claiming that their high fees are unlawful, and represent an interest in putting profit over prisoner’s needs. The suit argues that regular contact with friends and family reduces recidivism and provides the support that prisoners need to improve themselves while in prison.
The California State Legislature and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps to reduce calling rates and commissions for interstate calls. The agencies conclude that it is predatory to charge high commissions to families who are overwhelmingly poor. They add that the welfare of prisoners is paramount, and profits should not supersede the rights of prisoner families to engage in regular contact with their loved ones.
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