Global Tel-Link’s PR Spin On The Latest FCC Regulation Is Hilarious

It’s always hilarious to me to see what kind of public relations large companies try to spin when they become regulated. Recently, the FCC has mandated a certain rate for telephone calls made from prisons. Now that might seem like a silly thing to you but there’s a lot of money to be made off of telephone calls coming in and out of prison facilities.

Prisons offer contracts to private companies in order to provide communication services to inmates and their families. It’s not like the capitalist market on the outside of the prison where you have plenty of options to provide you with phone services. Inmates must use the telephone services provided to them by the prison and the cost is put on their families. One company with hilarious PR spin is called Global Tel-Link, which makes over $500 million per year on these calls. https://action.aclu.org/global-tel

The FCC is now suppressing the price of a long-distance and interstate prison calls. This is obviously going to cut into the profits of Global Tel-Link and it is evident in their PR spin. Before the regulation, Global Tel-Link was drawing national scrutiny for charging exorbitant telephone call rates, as much as $1.50 per minute. This could cost the family of a prisoner over $300 a week to talk to their loved one. Watch this YouTube video that explains this even further.

The reaction of the telecommunications giant was hilarious. They sent their PR guy to tell news outlets that the company was disappointed in the shortsighted regulation handed down by the FCC, saying that it may disproportionately affect smaller prisons. They said that call quality may suffer, which is hilarious because if you Google the company you’ll see that call quality is already terrible. They used a bunch of flowery language to say that their disapprove of the regulation that protects prisoners and cuts into their profit. Good. Read more on Prisontalk forums.

 

Keefe Group Under Fire For High Prices

The Jackson Jambalaya posted an interesting article on cdispatch about the Keefe Group, an inmate communications and services firm that had a contract with the former Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) Commissioner Chris Epps, who has been indicted for fraud and bribery. The Keefe Group made more than $40 million from the MDOC since 2008, nevertheless, no one from from the firm was indicted. Cecil McCrory, the man that owned previous MDOC supplier G.T. Enterprises, which he sold to the Keefe Group in 2008, was also indicted. Check out Keefe’s profile on corrections.com
It’s a convoluted story of bribery and corruption, however, the Keefe Group was paying the MDOC more than 29 percent in commission fees for food and personal care item purchases by inmates. Yes, companies can make large profits selling to inmates, however, the MDOC made out pretty well too. It’s hard to imagine why McCrory would allegedly offer a bribe to get contracts that required such high commission payments.

Perhaps this is why the Keefe Group is the target of an article calling the company predatory because of the high prices they charge inmates for food items. The Under Lock & Key news service is asking people to write the Keefe Group and document any abuses by the company. Perhaps Under Lock & Key should look at what their state’s Department of Corrections is receiving in commissions from the firms that they allow to sell products and services to inmates.  Read article here: http://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/fight-keefe-food-group-corruption/

 

I Use IC Solutions For My Law Office

I use IC Solutions for my law office because I have to have a secure phone line to call my clients. I learned when I got out of law school that I had to start an account to make calls to the prisons where my clients might be. I thought I could call straight in because I am a lawyer, but that is not how it works. You have to have an account with a company like IC Solutions, but they are the best people to work with because of the calls we have to make.
I place calls from my office with IC Solutions all the time, and I get my clients on the phone as soon as I need to. I have a lot to share with them, and I have to be able to speak to them knowing that all the things we are saying are confidential. It helps me to know that I can get everyone on the line, and it also helps me to feel comfortable knowing that we have given them all the information they need. I do not want to make my clients wonder what is going on, and I cannot visit all the jails on my own because of how spread out they are.

I appreciate the service that IC Solutions provides for me and my clients, and I am pleased to know that me and my clients are able to communicate when needed. They can get messages to me to call them, and I can call them immediately. I can get the families on the phone if they need it, and I have taught other families to do this because I know they needed to be able to talk to someone they love who is in jail. IC Solutions is a complete service that helps everyone. For more info, visit al.com.

References

FCC Takes Steps To Reduce Inmate Phone Call Rates

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to cut back on excessive rates and unequal fees on phone calls for staying in touch with loved ones who are carrying out their jail or prison terms.

The FCC plans to accomplish this by putting into effect new charges for inmate telephone calling. The new rates, which replace the interim rate of 21 cents a minute for debit/prepaid interstate calls and 25 cents a minute for collect interstate calls, will be 13 cents per minute for state or federal prisons.

The charges will also vary for jails with various numbers of inmates. For example, a
jail with up to 349 inmates, 31 cents will be charged for 60 seconds or one minute while jails with 350-999 inmates the charge will be 21 cents for 60 seconds. For jails with 1,000 or more inmates, the rate will be 19 cents for 60 seconds.

The new rates are expected to be in force late in the fourth quarter this year in prisons and in the first quarter of 2017 in jails.

According to the FCC, rates for collect calls, which are slightly higher in the first year, will be lessened after a two-year conversion time.

The FCC also set boundaries for the nature of supplementary services providers may charge users. These include preset payment amounts and third party monetary business fees.

In addition, should any questions concerning overcharges take place, a complaint may be filed with the FCC by telephone or by mail.

The new rates that were established on August 4 will replace the October 2015 rates which never were realized due to a court dispute.

Information was found at www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/inmate-telephone-service.

IC Solutions: Why I Love It

I often look at different options for communicating with friends in family behind bars, and I’m really impressed with IC Solutions so far. It’s a service for inmate telephone communication and it lets me keep in touch with friends and family. It lets you create an account to access jail phone services, leave voice messages for your family, and even chat in real time with video tech.
Some really key offerings by the company are:

-Automated Information Line: this service lets you hear automated responses to commonly asked questions about inmates and family members. I can even know the bond amount, court dates, and upcoming release dates.

-Inmate Voicemail: inmates are alerted to new messages they receive. They can also listen to those messages at any time.

-Flexible Calling: IC Solutions has a ton of different calling options, which is great for me and family members who are in jail.

-Kiosks: the IC solutions kiosked can accept money from inmates securely, which makes it really easy for them to reload minutes and other balances.

-Excellent Deposit Options: it’s no problem to increase the amount of cash the inmates can spend with online deposits or even phone deposits.

-Customer Service: whether I had a problem with my prepaid account, account setup, payments, billing issues, or any other questions, there was always 24/7 support to help me out.

Account Types On Offer:

Debit Phone Account: this account is really easy to get setup. Using a debit card, the inmate can make a call to any phone number.

Prepaid Account: This is great if you want to be able to accept calls when otherwise you wouldn’t be able to. The option lets you accept calls from the inmate when:

-It’s a cell phone
-The phone company doesn’t bill for collect calls
-The number has gone over the spending limit of collect calls.

Collect Calls: if the number is approved, then the inmate can make the call to the number. Then that call will be billed to you. You can also pay in a number of different ways, from phone, to online (https://www.icsolutions.com/) to sending a check or money order in. read more about IC Solutions on Ripoffreport.com.

http://icsolutions.pissedconsumer.com/corruption-within-inmate-calling-and-prison-services-for-inmates-and-families-20150817684649.html

The High Call Rates in Prisons Regulated

Inmates need to communicate with family and friends. How do they communicate, though? For inmates to communicate, they must make calls home. Communication has however been challenging because of the rising call rates. According to Eric Markowitz on 06/30/16, the families of inmates in the U.S pay up to $1 to talk to their relatives locked behind bars. The Federal Communications Commission came in to save this situation by regulating the call rates. The inmate’s communication industry primarily controlled by private firms focused on harvesting profits instead of making life in prison easy for prisoners. Notably in June, the call rates rose yet again.

Connie Pratt, a sixty-three-year-old woman from California, Chico, whose thirty-three-year-old son is behind bars for correctional purposes interjected she hoped that Federal Communications Industry would lower the prison call rates. But on June 20th, she realized that the call rates appreciated supposedly on the day they were to depreciate. Connie, the physically challenged woman, was devastated given the fact that she spends $900 monthly because of her disability. The fifteen minutes call rate bill rose from $7.20 to $9.77.

For all inmates in America, communication goes through private firms. Due to monopoly contracts, a call per minute costs $1. Hence, a fifteen-minute call would cost up to more than $15 which is too high for the families. According to the reports, the high call rates were also due to revenue sharing deals with sheriffs. Mignon Clyburn, who is a federal regulator at the FCC, admits to the high call rates being the biggest market failure he has seen. The FCC voted for a program dubbed ‘rate caps’ in October 2015, meant to charge inmates and their families. The price caps program by Federal Communications Commission to interstate calls applies to local phone calls only. If a prisoner made a phone call from Nevada to California, it would be monitored and charged on the rate cap making it cheaper.
Source
www.ibitimes.com.

High Inmates’ Communication Cost could be curbed by contracting Service Providers Who Offer Competitive Charges

In a case reported in Alabama, it became public that families were spending up to $100 or double the amount to communicate with a family member who is behind the bars.

Diana Summerford confirms that she used to pay $100 every month to cover her telephone bill. The bill was inflated by calls she made to her son, Jimmy Childers who was held at Decatur Work Release. The costs were high but she had to keep connected to know how her son was doing in prison.

The Alabama regulatory agency had though promised to regulate the inmate call rates to reduce the burden that family members incur while calling their relatives in prison. Despite the intervention to cut down rates, some inmate communication providers made a stand that they were not ready to agree to a reduced call rates regime. The firms depend on their services to prisoners to make profits.

The Alabama Public Service confirmed that the private firms imposed unrealistic charges on phone calls. To avoid detection, the firms first sold calling cards to jail canteen operators at a low price. In turn, the canteen workers sold the tickets at a high price to inmates.

According to pissedconsumer.com, the high prices were part of an illegal plan to contract with a Louisiana-based telecommunications inmate phone service provider that took advantage of their monopoly to charge exorbitant phone call rates. The company was accused of charging transaction fees of more than $4.75 to users when they made any deposit to their accounts. To make things worse, the money deposited in the account disappeared mysteriously in some cases.

However, the exorbitant inmate phone call rates could be reduced if the county considered contracting other firms. IC Solutions is an inmate communications service provider that gives relatively lower charges in opening up an account, and cheaper call rates when using their services. http://icsolutions.pissedconsumer.com/ic-solutions-shady-fraudulent-company-20141224574304.html

 

Prisons Making Money From Calls

Global Tel-Link is considered a prison profiteer. It is a prison calling system that many facilities use to allow inmates to call home so that they can talk to family and friends. If you think that you’re phone company charges too much money for a long distance call, try using Global Tel. The company easily makes millions each year from families who don’t really have the money to spend on the calls. However, the company offers kickbacks to the facilities, which means that the jail or prison gets a boost from every call that is made.
The facility doesn’t really care about the high price that is associated with each call and according to Bloomberg, Global Tel doesn’t care because the company is making money. It knows that people will pay the money if they really want to talk to someone who is behind bars. It’s taking advantage of families with children who want to talk to a parent who isn’t in the home. Some families aren’t able to go visit their family members, and the phone is the only way that they can talk. It doesn’t mean that Global Tel should charge an outrageous amount just to stay in touch with the people they love. For more info, read the review made by mythreecents.com on Global-tel-link.

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tellink-expresses-grave-concern-with-proposed-fcc-decision-on-inmate-calling-services-300164830.html

 

Keefe Group Provides High-Tech Solutions to the Correctional Industry

There are more than 2.3 million inmates in state, federal and local prisons in the United States. Some correctional facilities even accommodate more inmates than the required capacity. With such a huge population, prison institutions are turning to innovative technology to make management more efficient. Correctional facilities are nowadays built with a Panotonic design, a concept that enables correctional officers to observe the incarcerated without inmates knowing they are being watched.
Many of the cameras used to monitor inmates are more advanced than those used in shopping centers. The latest prison cameras are bullet resistant and can withstand a great force to prevent inmates from disabling cameras during an escape or fight. Correctional facility managers are monitoring inmates beyond camera surveillance. Some correctional facilities are using radio-frequency identification tracking (RFID). The RFID is a monitoring device mainly an electronic bracelet that the incarcerated wear to track their movement in a correctional facility.

To ensure correctional institutions are more efficient and secure, Keefe Group commits its resources to developing cutting-edge services and technologies. The company is a pioneer in developing and supplying unique products and services that correctional institutions need. The technology that Keefe Group develops focuses on streamlining the way prisons manage and process financial transactions, the flow of information and entertainment for inmates and their families.

Keefe Group (check out  corrections.com for the company’s vendor profile) operates through its affiliates with each addressing a specific area in the corrections market. Through the affiliates, Keefe Group supplies personal care products, clothing, foodstuff, technology, telecommunications and software solutions to the correctional industry.

The Group exclusively services the correctional industry by developing the most innovative products and services. Keefe Group is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and manages several facilities across the country. The Group also has a manufacturing facility where it packages several private label and name brand products. This information was originally reported on Cdispatch.com.

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

Why we need better telecommunications systems in correction facilities

Most people consider inmates be the violent, non-cooperative members of their societies. Some even view them as gang members or dangerous people that should not be allowed to mingle with the general population. Contrary to such views, good members of any society may find themselves in prison serving time due to a series of wrong decisions they may make unknowingly.

Inmates have the same needs as other society members. They constantly need to keep in touch with friends and family via visitations and communications. The most convenient and dominant way of inmates to communicate with the rest of the world has been via telephone.

Securus Technologies is a company that provides the justice department with telecommunication solutions for most correction facilities. The company has been able to install over 80,000 basic units of telecommunications and over 100,000 units of what they term as “intelligent communication devices” in many of the American and Mexican correction facilities.

Intelligent communication devices are usually the telecommunication devices that do more than the basic voice exchange. These devices include video visitation booths, tablets, and the S phone. Most of the devices use proprietary technology that allows the company to guarantee high-security standards as required by the law.

The correction facilities and Securus feel that by increasing an inmate’s communication with the outside world, his or her behavior improvement will be quicker. This is based on the notion that if inmates have contact with family and friends, they will have something to look up to.

Allowing inmates to communicate helps them relieve vile moods and bad tempers acquired in jail. This in turn makes jails safer by fostering a peaceful environment for both the inmates and officers guarding them.

Intelligent communication devices enable inmates to access education and entertainment material. Educated inmates tend to be less violent with their behavior appearing to be more controlled. If an educated inmate is released back to society, it is easier for him to fit back because his chances of getting a job are high.

Educated inmates have high hopes for life after prison. They often prove to have become clean long before finishing their time as they look forward to brighter futures after jail.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/securus-intelligent-inmate-communications-device-count-now-exceeds-104000-units-in-service-300301777.html