Did you know that when an inmate makes a phone call to someone on the outside, a small 15 minute conversation can cost upwards of 15 dollars. That is a dollar a minute. When you are incarcerated, the importance of staying in touch with others is important to keep those on the inside informed about what is happening on the outside.
The rising cost of making calls inside of jail facilities is bankrupting families and friends on the outside. The cost associated with calling home is higher in some areas more than in others. By using a company outside of the prison to make phone calls, the cost of calls is lowered. This is especially important for families and friends who are limited on income.
The cost of phone calls being made in prison should not cost so much that those on the outside are forced to cut off communication with the inmates because of the cost. There are ways to cut this cost down by signing up for phone rights through companies like Global Tel-Link.
The purpose of this company is to help cut back on the cost of all calls being made outside of the prison or jails. The cost is not only decreased which helps the inmate but it also saves all calls being made. Each time the phone is used with Global, the phone call is being recorded. This helps to make sure that the right information is used for cases involving inmates. It also works to help to keep inmate crimes down.
Through the use of phone calls, inmates are better behaved and are greeted with more privileges due to the good behavior. The good behavior will also impact how the inmate will behave when they are finally released and return back to the outside world. It is vital for success in inmates who hope to live a crime free life once released.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Global Tel link is one of the leading inmate communication providers in the United States. The institution was started several years ago, and its main aim is to offer the best communication service to inmates and their families. The company is headquartered in Reston, and it has other offices in different parts of the country.
Not long ago, the company expressed its dismay concerning the new regulations by the Federal Communication Commission. The new regulation from FCC introduced some caps on the current rates and fees charged to the prisoners when making calls to their loved ones.
According to the ACLU, the Federal Communication Commission regulations will have a serious effect on the financial status of the companies in the industry. The quality of the services offered to the prisoners will be also affected by the new orders.
Global Tel has not accepted the new regulations. In a report by Bloomberg, the management of the company has decided to seek help from the judiciary to make sure that the new regulations are reviewed. The company has also asked other companies in the industry to challenge the new orders.
The CEO of the GTL, Brian Oliver believes that the new orders from FCC will have a negative impact on the inmates and the people they communicate with. Brian argues that the commission is not helping the inmates in any way. The low rates offered to the inmates might seem like a good idea, but the quality of the services might be compromised at the end of the day. It is also possible for the inmates to have no communication at all.
The Federal Communication Commission thinks that the low rates will enable the inmates to communicate often with their families. However, the companies in the industry say that the rates will bring a massive financial crisis to them. Some of them might even be forced to terminate their contracts.
Global Tel Link is one of the leading inmate communication providers in the United States. The institution was started several years ago, and its main aim is to offer the best communication service to inmates and their families. The company is headquartered in Reston, and it has other offices in different parts of the country.
Not long ago, the company expressed its dismay concerning the new regulations by the Federal Communication Commission. According to the ACLU organization, the new regulation from FCC introduced some caps on the current rates and fees charged to the prisoners when making calls to their loved ones.
The Federal Communication Commission regulations will have a serious effect on the financial status of the companies in the industry. The quality of the services offered to the prisoners will be also affected by the new orders.
GTL has not accepted the new regulations. The management of the company has decided to seek help from the judiciary to make sure that the new regulations are reviewed. The company has also asked other companies in the industry to challenge the new orders.
The CEO of the successful company, Brian Oliver believes that the new orders from FCC will have a negative impact on the inmates and the people they communicate with. Brian argues that the commission is not helping the inmates in any way. The low rates offered to the inmates might seem like a good idea, but the quality of the services might be compromised at the end of the day. It is also possible for the inmates to have no communication at all.
In a report by Law360.com, the Federal Communication Commission thinks that the low rates will enable the inmates to communicate often with their families. However, the companies in the industry say that the rates will bring a massive financial crisis to them. Some of them might even be forced to terminate their contracts. To learn more about GTL and how they treat their customers, watch this YouTube video.