I read that Global Tel Link (GTL) expressed its dismay and also concerns about the proposed new regulations by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on inmate calling services. I learnt that these new regulations sought to bring about caps on fees and rates for inter and intrastate calls but do not cap the site commissions. It is as if they are meant to strongly discourage payments to the facility administrators.
This steps as I read on Consumer Affairs will create a financial instability in this industry and it will consequently threaten the services offered at the smaller jails in the nation. GTL has no choice apart from seeking a judicial review of the order by ACLU and FCC. GTL is in agreement with the views of the dissenting commissioners and encouraged all the industry shareholders to join hands and challenge the plan that intends well but it is short-sighted as it is. Brian Oliver, the GTL CEO, stated that the decision by FCC could end up hurting the very same people it intends to help (the inmates and their families). They could end up contending with low quality phone calls or no telephone services at all. GTL is advocating for an approach that is balanced in the effort to reduce the calling rates by addressing the fees, rates and commissions comprehensively.
About Global Tel Link
GTL is one of the top providers of integrated technological solutions for correctional facilities. The company focuses on delivering security, ease of operation and financial value to its customers through solutions and visionary products that are at the forefront of corrections modernism. GTL is a trusted industry leader in the corrections industry and offers services to over half of the inmates nationwide, 33 state corrections departments, District of Puerto Rico, Columbia and 33 of the largest county facilities. The headquarters of GTL are in Reston, Virginia and it has over 10 regional offices spread across the country.
IC Solutions is a leading jail phone services provider that enables inmates to keep in touch with their friends and family. The firm provides IT solutions for inmate management, right from the booking, to the final day of release. The services range from account creation, telephone services, voice and data messages, and real-time chatting via video streaming.
The following are some of the major services offered by IC Solutions:
Automated Information Line: This is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform hosted by the facility and gives automated phone response to questions frequently asked by inmates and family members. It is integrated with the Jail Management System (JMS) to retrieve updated inmate data like the amount of bond, upcoming court appearances, and the date of release.
Inmate Voicemail: The inmate telephone system enables family and friends to leave voice messages whenever the inmate cannot be reached. They can listen to the voicemail messages whenever they have access to the phone service.
Flexible Calling Options and Kiosks: IC Solutions also provide pocket-friendly calling options and kiosks designed to collect and secure money from new inmates.
Mobile and Online Deposit Services: The Company has provided secure platforms through which friends and family members can deposit money in the detainees’ accounts and increase their spendable cash.
IC Solutions Introduces Video Screens for Sangamon County Jail
The new contract between the Sangamon County Jail and IC Solutions has led to the introduction of more inmate visits, but over video screens. The initiative will earn the county at least $15,000 every month considering the prison population of 330. Since the calling rates will significantly drop, inmate calling rates could rise drastically. The firm will pay the county up to 80.1% in commission, compared to the 50% commission under the previous contract.
Read the company review on pissedconsumer.com.
Talk about Global Tel Link (GTL) and you are talking about controversy in the name of one of the largest inmates communications company. Incarceration, no matter the reason for it, is not exactly a piece of cake for friends and families of the unfortunate person. Sometimes, the only comfort and source of hope for them is the opportunity to regularly get in touch with them without unnecessary difficulty. Every now and then, however as globaltellinkreviews.com says, Global Tel Link succeeds in sinking those hopes.
Any day, Global Tel Link would try to make you believe that Prison Call Services is a fraud. I did some research and found that the latter is really owned by GTL. Ok, no problem there. What stinks, however, is the two companies’ shamelessness in their effort to reap where they did not sow by charging you for the same single service.
Threats and Slyness
I’ve come across countless incidences in which the communications services provider and its affiliate are accused of unfair charges but the worst of all is the tendency to charge you for services they simply did not provide. According to My3Cents.com, they will still come for your money even when your loved one has been released from incarceration. If you cancel any deposit to your account, they will resort to threats, never minding about your right to cancel any wrong transaction.
It’s really a game of slyness. GTL will make a show of how best it is trying to help you out of the situation and you may get your money returned to your account. However, it will soon be sneaked out of your account on the grounds of legitimacy of PCS.
Offering communications services to inmates and their loved ones is a noble profession. I live for the day GTL will understand the pain of having someone living in confinement. Only then will the company quit adding more anguish to an already unfortunate situation. I wish organizations like the ACLU does something about this.
Read More: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tel-link-gtl-issues-inaccurate-press-release–securus-corrects-inaccuracies-300264749.html
Global Tel link is one of the largest telephone service providers in the US. It is mandated by the prisons department to offer secure telephone services to the inmates. The incarcerated prisoners need to get in touch with their families, friends, and attorneys.
Global Tel-link ownership changed hands in the year 2011 at the cost of $1 billion to a New York-based firm, American Securities. It affirmed its profit position immediately after by posting record high 215 million prison calls. The company prides itself on offering high-quality services to the department of corrections.
High cost calls
In a report by consumeraffairs.com, there have been claims however that the firm is charging way too high for the calls and causing distress to the families affected. Inmates’ relatives argue that making a phone call to the prison costs much more than making an international call, irrespective of your locations from the jail.
The families who have to keep up with the lawyers’ fees feel that they are getting the second sentence by not getting the freedom to speak freely with their loved ones in an affordable manner. The company, however, insists that the high costs are a result of the extra security measures that they have to put in place in offering these services.
Sources who are privy to the issue intimate that the cost is as a result of the commission that GTL pays to get the lucrative contracts. They say that the company has every intention of recovering the money, and thus passes on the bill to the clients. The company in its defense says that these commissions which they refer to as service charges that they had negotiated with the prisons department are paid to cater for the much needed extra security.
According to the ACLU, there has been a plan to remove the service charge fee from the customer’s bill, but it is facing a lot of opposition. The matter is being deliberated on, and the case will be ruled soon.
Technology hit the 21st Century like a wave, washing over different aspects of Society, life, and work. This technological revolution did not exclude correctional facilities, which are stereo-typically shunned and forgotten by the society. Correctional industry technology is presently a lucrative business with advancements like the remote sensing technology that controls facility doors, electronic ankle monitors, handheld devices for detecting cell phones, and Video Visitation.
How Video Visitation is incorporated in Correctional Facilities
The video visitation procedure is easy to understand. An online appointment is made by the visitor to book a visit with their incarcerated loved one and pay a non-refundable fee. The inmate is informed about the visit and is expected to be at a specified corresponding video terminal. A timely login is imperative for a flawless video visitation experience. Incarceration facilities monitor all visits on an online website platform.
Pros and Cons of the Interactive Video Visitation Platform
The benefits of video visitation are many. A sample of prison administrators found out that video visitation is helpful in reducing contraband infiltration. Video visitation has further increased visiting hours and cut down on staff labor cost. Unlike previous visitation procedures, the use of correctional staff as escorts has been drastically reduced and so has the staff workload. Moreover, families with children can safely talk to their incarcerated relatives from home.
Despite the thrill that came with prison technology advancements in video visitation, various economic, psychological, and emotional drawbacks have been identified. Video visitation rates are expensive because the government does not regulate the technology. Moreover, stakeholders have observed that video visits are less intimate than in-person visits.
Poor pixelated images during visits have made it challenging for families to decisively identify the well-being and status of their incarcerated loved ones. Also, video visits offer little privacy with loved ones.
Video visitations are the next big thing in the incarceration sector of criminal justice. The new service has many benefits and a few disadvantages for loved ones visiting inmates by way of visuals.
One advantage is the ability for the entire family to visit an inmate instead of just the adult members of the group. Children were not allowed to see their parents in jail because of regulations that prohibited certain individuals under the age of eighteen from being entering the visitation quarters. Video enhancements, however, make it possible for small children to see their mom or dad during telephone sessions with incarcerated loved ones.
Visitation technology also gives families the option of connecting with loved ones from the comforts of home. Such benefit is a life-saver when a mom wants all of her kids to talk with their father at once. The latest enhancement lets the kids see their dad and converse with him without mom having to get everyone dressed for a day at the jailhouse.
One disadvantage associated with video visitation technology is its expense. This relatively new system has irregularly high fees that some families may not be able to afford. Such is the reason why many loved ones who could benefit from video visitations the most do not have access to such technology.
There’s such a thing in this world known as human rights, and when it comes to those serving time behind bars, they too, deserve to be treated with the proper basics while incarcerated.
The bizarre high cost of inmate phone calls is one aspect that keeps spinning out of control, even as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently put a cap on it.
As most people understand, communication is the lifeblood for an inmate and his or her family. Whether that boils down to phone calls, video visits or emails, those behind bars wait for that conversation and opportunity to say hello and catch up. Communication in the jail and prison worlds means a lot to an inmate’s morale, and it is essential to those families on the outside who miss their loved one.
What’s even tougher these days, is that poor families are being shut out of the entire inmate communications aspect, because most cannot afford the extremely high price tag from the prison phone industry. This can have a negative impact on children, especially, who cannot communicate with their mother or father doing time, etc. For example, according to FindLaw.com, the big companies like Securus Technologies and Global Tel Link who connect inmates to the outside world, have challenged the FCC’s recent cap on calls.
The FCC realizes that the prison phone industry needs a major reform, but they’re also getting whacked at the state level in the way of law suits. Findlaw.com uses the state of Oklahoma to make its point. The locals there are fuming, because the cap is cutting into their commission payments. Oklahoma receives some $3 million a year from the prison communications companies, and to lose that whopping amount doesn’t sit pretty with the state.
Stay tuned. This isn’t over yet.
IC Solutions is a top telecommunication company established in 2002. The company offers telephone services to correctional facilities in the United States. IC Solutions pioneers in providing innovative technology, telecommunication services, and customer service. The company is one of the trusted service providers and offers services to over 260,000 inmates in more than 230 correctional facilities in the country. Additionally, this company provides its services to several departments of corrections prison systems such as Alabama prisons.
Services offered by IC Solutions
IC Solutions provides a broad range of services, including automated information line that provides inmates and their family member’s answers to matters such as release dates and bond amount. The company also offers flexible calling options, which guarantees constant communications between inmates and their loved ones. Through the firm’s Inmate Voicemail service, incarcerated individuals have an opportunity to listen to messages sent to them by their friends and families.
IC Solutions.com also pioneers in providing web-based and phone services, which allow family members and friends of incarcerated persons to deposit cash into the inmates’ account. Money deposited increases the detainees’ spendable cash and enables them to make calls whenever they want. The company has kiosks in all the correctional facilities. These kiosks collect money from new inmates in a secure way. In addition, IC Solutions offers customer service that addresses prepaid account set up, payments, and billing issues.
Telephone accounts offered by IC Solutions
IC Solutions has three primary accounts: prepaid, collect calling, and debit telephone account. The prepaid account offers an option that allows an inmate to make a call when his or her phone number has exceeded the spending limit, and when she or he uses a cell phone. Collect calling, on the other hand, allows inmates to make calls to institutions whose phone numbers have been approved. Debit telephone accounts operate like post-paid accounts where payments have to be made before making calls. To read the company review, visit pissedconsumer.com.
The Mississippi Corrections Department is determined to eliminate all their no-bid contracts from their system. According to research by the Dispatch, the no-bid contracts have had numerous accusation and allegations to corruption. For this reason, the individual companies like Keefe Group come to prison state officials and bribe them in exchange for a win. For this reason, the Mississippi Correction Department wants to do away with these no-bid contracts to curb the following corruption cases reported in national Television. For the prison setup to get better deals, they must also eliminate these contracts. According to the prison task force for the project, ta former corrections officer was accused of conducting fraudulent deals in prisons with the no-bid contracts.
The six-member task force agreed to meet on Monday and discuss a couple of issues affecting the prisons in the county. For this reason, the panel’s main agenda was to formulate ways in which the no-bid contracts would be replaced using the bid contract and the winner awarded in a fair manner. The task force, during their Monday meeting, came up with numerous recommendations to present to the state Governor and other lawmakers before the end of the three-month legislation.
The Governor appointed the task force in November following the allegations of corruption dealings by one of the highly-ranked prison officials in the State Prison. A report by the Tampa Bay Times, found out that Chris Epps was receiving bribes from Cecil McCrery in exchange of business contracts to operate in prison state. She was also indicted on other federal charges upon reception at the court. The two businessmen have pleaded guilty. Therefore, they were released and awaited trial in July.
The attorney in charge of the task force, Andy Tergat, said that these recommendations would promote undue transparency in the correctional facilities. As a matter of fact, the proposals will also work to promote justice in the election of the companies to serve the prisons, for those businesses that have better deals for the prisons. They will be analyzed through the vetting panel. According to him, the tightest regulations and laws cannot prevent the most honest people from dealing in fraudulent activities. Our job is to make it possible to stop corruption.
The fact is that a prison inmate might lose touch with their family without some means of communication to keep them in touch with the daily life of their family. This is especially true for inmates that are incarcerated hundreds or thousands of miles away from their family members. Certainly, keeping lines of communication open with the family provides several benefits for all involved. Kids and spouses are able to maintain a regular relationship and communication with the prisoner. In addition, inmates that have a loving, supporting family that they communicate with on a regular basis tend to adapt better to outside life, once released.
Communication Is Important
Leading insiders state that communication is crucial between families and inmates. Communication helps kids adjust to their parent’s incarceration by reducing the trauma experienced at the separation. One insider strongly believes that allowing prisoners to keep in contact with outside family members helps them to walk a straight and narrow path, once they are released. Families in Louisiana pay millions per year for those important telephone calls. It should be noted that it is not required by law in Louisiana and other states to provide telephone service for prisoners. Consequently, the higher rates for phone calls are necessary to meet the high demand for advanced telephone features like voice recognition and call forwarding detection.