Category Archives: Prison News

The Keefe Group and the Concerns of Monopolies

I usually plan out my meals with a lot of energy and joy. For me, preparing a great meal is almost as much fun as eating it. But a recent article made me really realize just how lucky I am to be in that position. The choice to eat healthy and flavorful meals isn’t something that everyone can partake in. And the article presented a group of people who are suffering from big business forcing choices onto them.

The article took a harsh look at a company called the Keefe Group. The Keefe Group sells food within prisons. The author is writing from the perspective of someone who’s living with their influence constantly hanging over his head. As a prisoner within the current jail system he’s had to deal with a lot of managerial issues. However, it’s really only the Keefe Group which seems to raise actual anger within him. The more I learned about the Keefe Group the more I could see why that’s the case.

The big problem is that the Keefe Group operates as a monopoly within prisons. They’re a food service company that is usually contracted with in order to serve auxiliary functions to the main meals. Basically, they’re there to provide a bit of extra snacking or flavor in between real meals. It’s clear from looking out at the world that this isn’t really how our culture works with empty calories though. Junk food usually is the biggest source of calories for most people during the day. Prisoners deprived of their favorite junk food and of distractions in general will usually get pretty desperate for empty calories. So desperate that they’re easy to separate from almost any percentage of their income. Prison work programs don’t pay much. But the Keefe Group is happy to push up their prices to match whatever someone can afford. The fact that the Keefe Group’s contracts don’t allow for competition means that they can do what every monopoly does. They push prices up to an absurd amount while lowering quality. The Keefe Group is well aware that competition cannot exist due to the nature of their contracts.

I think it’s plain that the Keefe Group needs to be pulled back a little. Possibly by bringing in competition or possibly by adding in some better prison funded dessert options. But no matter how it happens, it needs to occur for the sake of prisoner’s health.

Learn more: http://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/fight-keefe-food-group-corruption/

Keefe Group Helps With Prison Phone Calls

Keefe Group Is one of the best communications and prison service companies in the world, and they have connected to a number of different prisons who want their inmates to reach their loved ones. Someone who wishes to make a call with this company may sign up for an account at any time, and they will find that the company helps them get better call quality. This article explains how the company helps inmates and family make calls. Visit stltoday.com to know more.

#1: The Calls Are Good For Everyone

The calls are good for both sides because the quality and security is as high as it can possibly be. Someone who wants to place calls with the system may get a hold of someone that they cannot drive to see. The jail visitation is an important part of rehabilitation, and there are many people who will place their calls with Keefe Group because that helps them relax. Someone who wants to place these calls will find that they may hear clearly no matter who have they called, and they will have security and quality that they need quite a lot.

Know more: http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2014/11/prisoners-are-money-keefe-404-million-g.html

#2: The Simple Call Structure

The simple call structure for everyone helps them place their calls, and they may contact Keefe Group any time for help. They will be connected to the jail they are trying to reach, and they will give the people who are on the phone a chance to hear a voice they have been missing. It is much easier for someone to place these calls because they get good customer service from Keefe Group. They will feel more comfortable with this system, and they will feel comfortable placing calls to a number of people. Read more about Keefe Group on Prison Censorship.

There are many different people who will find that placing calls with Keefe Group is easy. They can set up their accounts and call anyone at any time. It is much easier for someone to get a hold of the people they love when they are calling with Keefe Group, and they will start to feel better about the way that they visit with their loved ones.

Prisoners’ keen still being fleeced despite the capping of prison call rates

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.

 

Securus Technologies Inc. Holds the Largest Patent Portfolio in the Inmate Communications Industry

Securus Technologies Inc. now holds the largest patent portfolio in the inmate communications industry, according to CEO Richard A. Smith. The leading civil and criminal justice technology solutions provider announced in a PR Newswire press release, on October 19th, 2016, the company received approval for five new patents in the past three months. Smith said Securus received notice from the U.S. Patent Office acknowledging the five patents.

 

 

From 2013 until 2016, the United States Patent Office has issued 36 patents for corrections and enforcement to Securus. During the time, the company filed 90 new patents for approval from the federal agency. Richard Smith said in the press release that Securus patents increased to 248 in their portfolio. It’s the largest total of patents owned by a company in the inmate communications industry.

 

 

Securus’ patent portfolio comprises of fraud detections, commissary services, audio calling, video visitation, inmate calling, and other products. Smith accredits their team of developers, marketing professionals, R&D experts, and technicians for contributing to its patent portfolio. He said Securus currently leads the inmate communications industry by 113 patents.

 

 

Securus Technologies Inc. is the top national provider of high-technology software solutions to correctional, public safety, and law enforcement agencies. The company was founded in 1986 as Tele-Matic Corporation and was named Securus Technologies after various acquisitions. Securus leads the inmate communications industry in developing the most sophisticated technologies for law enforcement personnel, inmates, investigators, and emergency employees.

 

 

The patent portfolio of Securus is expected to increase to more than 300 patents when U.S. Patent Office approves 90 applications. Their technologies connect investigators to leads, correctional personnel to important data, and inmates with family members.

 

Global Tel Link – Price Gouging Against Those Who Can Least Afford It

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

Concession Fees Are Keeping Our Inmate’s Families Impoverished

For many years different prison-rights groups and those who are close to the imprisoned person have been complaining about the cost of phone calls to those who are in prison. Its considerably unregulated and finally the Federal Communications Commission has decided to start investigating into it.

Outside of prison the average phone call costs about $0.44 cents a minute but making a phone call to an inmate can be around $1.22 per minute. These telephone companies sign contracts with prisons and share a commission (called concession fees) with the prison system so they can be the only telephone provider available on site. With no competition they can increase the rate of phone calls as high as they would like. The largest telephone companies that provide services to prisons and other government offices are Global Tel-Link Corp. and Securus Technologies.

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

The F.C.C. has released that in 2013 the concession fees paid to prisons reached $460 million dollars. These telephone companies that do compete for the prisons service are competing over commission prices. Global Tel Link has their hands on approximately 50% of the prisons in the United States. In 2011 the company was sold for $1 Billion dollars.

The F.C.C. has to decide whether to put a limit or a ban on concession fees. Companies like Global Tel-Link Corp. are making profits off of people who are finding themselves in defenseless situations. One family member of an inmate quotes spending over $3,000 on phone bills in one month just to keep in contact and discuss legal matters. The concession fees are causing harm to those who haven’t broken the law by draining them of all their funds. Some family members of inmates don’t get to speak because they simply cannot afford it. Read more reviews at globaltellinkreviews.com

Global Tel-Link and Securus have stated that if the calls rate cap falls below $0.20 cents a minute they will lose the ability to run their business. Prisoner Advocates disagree and believe the calls rate cap can drop to $0.07 cents a minute and still allow room for profit.

Global Tel-Link and Securus are businesses ran on the intention of making profit off of those in limited and low-income situations. Watch this video on Youtube.

The Development of Inmate Communications

Communications in correctional facilities have been established these days. Several reviews and renewals have been made to improve the quality of the communications in prisons. The people in the cells have better and clearer quality of sound as they talk to their loved ones. Video calls have been made available for inmates in the prison facilities.

 

The companies that provide the call services have been working hard to improve sound clarity and network. The amount being charged and capability of call that can be made have been stepped up and costs largely reduced. The companies rendering the services are operating at all times be it day or night.

 

Strides made by those undertakings overtime have been achieved by improving connectivity and network in calls made in the correctional facilities. Video visitation calls have also been made available. Inmates can these days video call their homes and houses because technology has boosted connectivity of the internet so that videos will be clear with no downtime.

 

Fathers in prisons can now get to know how things are in their families and how kids have been doing at school without them going there. Family members can link up with each other at any time of day. The government and the companies providing these services are trying hard to subsidies prices. The state governments and federal governments are stressing that these companies prove how and why they have to give dear prices to the users. Some of the governments have come to the understanding that improvements in technology with the aim of boosting the quality of sound and videos, will require more finances. This requirement will then be transferred to the clientele.

 

The communication providers are at the moment trying hard to lower the costs while continuing to improve the service quality.

 

 

The New Innovative Cost of Calling Home

The industry of inmate communications has flourished tremendously in the last couple of years because of the escalated incarceration rate. There are several leading companies who supply correctional institutions with communication systems for inmates to keep in touch with their family members while they are imprisoned. According to U.S. Prison News, Glob Tech Link is embarking upon a new endeavor in the arena of penal communications. Glob Tech Link in a trial phase is offering tablets to inmates in Nashville, Tennessee, Davison County institution. Each of the 1,500 jail inmates received their own tablet in which they can make phone calls, purchase online games, and music on demand for $25 a month. For every purchase made by the inmates, Global Tek Link is making money. There are some advantages for the use of tablets in correctional environment. For the inmates, they no longer wait in line to use the telephone system, they now can make calls right from their cells by using the tablets. For the correctional staff, inmates using tablets is observed as a management tool, noting that it keeps the inmates relaxed because it provides communications and entertainment. Another advantage for the correctional staff is that the system can be easily monitored by officers and the internet service can be obstructed when needed for protection purposes. The future of inmate communication is changing the way institutions will administer the high cost of calling home. The industry leading company is accelerating to improve the outlook of prison communications with face-to-face interactions such as the use of Skype. Global Tel Link is endeavoring to become the frontrunner in corrections innovation using new technical tools to enhance the environments within the correctional institutions.

 

I-Pads in Prison: Global Tel Link New Venture

 

GTL pays out over $500 million in 2016 to prisons where it operates

Global Tel Link has become the nation’s largest provider of inmate communications services as well as a major provider of prison security solutions. Controlling over 50 percent of the inmate calling market in the United States, GTL has surpassed its closest rival, Securus Technologies, by providing high-quality calling services at low cost and continually rolling out new technologies that add value to all of the prison system’s stakeholders. Know more at consumeraffairs.com.

One of the challenges unique to operating in the prison space is the duality of the customer that GTL serves. On one hand, GTL is charged with providing inmates high-quality calling services at the lowest feasible rates. The company’s own internal data strongly suggests that lowering the cost of calling to inmates can increase the demand for prison phone calls at rates that are disproportionately higher than might be expected. For this reason, it has always been the company’s main goal to provide the absolute lowest cost calling solutions to all of the inmates at the prisons where it operates. Learn more about GTL on action.aclu.org

But on the other hand, GTL also has the responsibility to make sure that the phone systems it operates comply fully with the prison’s safety protocols and enable the corrections officers who oversee it to easily maintain order and safety within the system. This presents a number of steep challenges, as the guards are often diametrically opposed to the inmates in ways and to degrees not seen in any other industry. At their worst, prison-guard relations are akin to those of opposing soldiers in an armed conflict. In fact, this is not an inaccurate way to describe the way many prisons throughout the United States operate. Read more on PRNewsWire.com.

But GTL has managed to deliver quality products, even under these difficult constraints. It is through the deep expertise of its employees and dedication to providing the best solutions in the industry that GTL continues to lead the way in the prison calling space.

Know more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-17/serial-podcasts-2-500-phone-bill-and-the-prison-pay-phone-racket

How Is Inmate Communication Technology Assisting People?

Families who have been enforced to select between purchasing groceries or sharing a call with their loved one who is behind bars and has pleaded with the government to control this costly price by the companies which offer phone service for prison and jail inmates. The Federal Commission took a notice and decided to take very step toward this issue and made measure to control the calling rate for the inmates to let them speak with their loved ones and friends who are living outside the prison.

People who are passing their days behind bars are already suffering, and they need some affection and something that they can stand on to have someone waiting for them in the outside world when they get release after completing their trial. That’s why such services have been launched to give them what they want so that they can still have hopes to become a good citizen after going out.

There is very little doubt that felons who always keep in touch with friends and families have a good chance of finding suitable places in their communities and as soon as they get released. And that’s the primary reason why such services have launched, but now with the expensive rates, it seems impossible for anyone to call their families.

Inmates don’t have a source of income other than working behind the bar. So, they are working hard for a call to their loved ones. So, the government should step in now look into this issue and take some precautions so that it would be easy for them to call their friends and family. And to be in touch with the outside world so that they can have someone waiting for them when they get release and a community who knew that he has completed his sentence and can fit in now.