Misconduct, Bribery, and Extortion allegations against Keefe Group

Keefe Group comprises of Keefe Supply Company, Keefe Commissary Network, Access Securepak, Access Corrections, IC Solutions, and Advanced Technologies. Keefe Group specializes in supplying snacks, clothing, telecommunications, software solutions, technology, and personal care products to correction facilities. Since its inception 1975, Keefe Group has been a leading supplier of goods and services in correctional facilities across the US.

Bribery allegations

Keefe Group provides a spectrum of services and products to prison facilities across the United States. Apparently, it is alleged that Keefe Group issued bribes to several correction facilities to operate canteens inside prisons. In Gainesville, two businessmen admitted having paid bribes to Keefe Group officers working in Florida Prison. Joseph Deese was charged and found guilty of bribing James Cosby, the former Corrections Secretary a Keefe Commissary Network. Moreover, Edward Lee was also found guilty of bribing Cosby to connect him with the correction facilities executives. It is alleged that Cosby asked for a bribe to introduce the two businessmen to Keefe Group officers. The agreement was that Keefe Group officers would allow them to operate a canteen in the correction facilities. As such, Cosby and Clark had to resign to pave the way for the investigations.

In 2009, prisons regulatory agencies published an article calling upon anyone with corruption, bribery, exploitation, and poor services claims against the Keefe Group to present their evidence. Complainants were asked to compile concrete evidence that would help convict the Keefe Group for breaching the code of conduct. However, people believe that Keefe Group enjoys state protection and therefore it would be difficult to have them charged. In the search for evidence, complainants have been going to prisons in the US to find reliable evidence that links Keefe Group to bribery allegations.

In July 2013, friends and families of Florida Prisoners filed a petition seeking revocation of the contract signed between Keefe Group and FDOC. According to the Dispatch News article, the petitioners claimed that Keefe Group canteens exaggerated food prices at the Florida Prison. Conversely, FDOC was accused of not considering other vendors with lower prices than Keefe Group. Also, Keefe Group is accused of providing machine-made food to the prisoners without taking into account its health implications.

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

IC Solutions Is Repugnant

Everyone likes to spend a lot of time on Google, as they learn a lot of information that can be useful for them. When it comes to doing business with a company, they want to know the kind of company they are getting in business with and what can be expected. No matter what type of company is out there, people are sure to find a bad egg in terms of reviews. Some people just enjoy giving out negative reviews and they do it on a frequent basis. However, most people have published honest, well-thought out and insightful reviews on a business or a company.

In the case of IC Solutions, someone can go back five years and come up with reviews from the Pissed Consumer website, which is a website where people can report about how they have been ripped off and warn other people about it, so the same thing does not happen to them. It is a great website, and it is much needed in our current times. It lets people know what they are getting into it, so they are not caught off guard. The reviews for IC Solutions, the inmate communications provider, are pretty straight forward.

They talk about all of the fraud and all of the issues with the company and there are many of them to speak of, to say the least. First and foremost, they do not deliver when people have already paid for the service. They even double charge (http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/the_high_cost_of_a_phone_call.html) the customer as well, so they collect people’s money and then they go into hiding when it is time to do something about it on their end. Those ties into the bad customer service I was speaking of, as they just throw a bunch of lies at the customer but the fact remains: they can’t speak to the inmate.

Global Tel-Link Is a Large Prison Phone Company

One of the most profitable industries that most people do not know about involves companies that supply phone service to prisons around the United States. As you might imagine, prisons need to have a special phone system in place. Companies such as industry leader GTL provide the means for each inmate in the prisons they service to have their own prepaid phone account. They can use it to make calls whenever they desire. The prisoner can put money into the account when their balance gets too low. This is typically how most prisons manage their phone systems.

Global Tel-Link has risen to become one of the most prominent of the prison phone suppliers. According to PR Newswire, they have been able to do this by implementing business practices that many of their critics consider to be highly unethical. That having been said, they have never been charged with a crime. They abide by all of the current laws and Federal Communications Commission regulations. The main thing that the media and the families of inmates have a problem with is the high price that Global Tel Link charges for their services. In some cases, the price of making a simple phone call is cost prohibitive for many inmates. Therefore, many people believe that serious changes need to be made to the way that the prison phone industry is being managed.

The core of the problem is the fact that each prison only has a single company providing its phone service. This lack of competition obviously opens the door for prison phone companies to do exactly what they are doing. They are charging ridiculously high rates because they know they are the only game in town, reveals My3Cents reviews. Global Tel-Link and their various competitors are all capitalizing on the inadequacies of United States law as it pertains to the prison phone industry.

Read the company review: https://www.yelp.com/biz/global-tel-link-houston

The Controversial Keefe Group

Keefe Group, with six other companies affiliated with it, emerged as a major supplier of food and other essentials to federal prisons since 1975. Keefe’s success story may seem intriguing and also thought to have a foundation of determination, persistence and innovation. By introducing sealed paper pouches as a packaging alternative, Keefe made prisons safer from the otherwise perilous metal and glass container. Since then Keefe has been the biggest benefactor of lucrative government contracts throughout the state and has grown to a corporate monopoly.

The success of any company is always open to conspiracy and public assessment. Keefe group is not an exception given that it serves a sensitive and integral part of the nation. However, Keefe claims that it has involved itself in clean and transparent deals only.

In a report by the Tampa Bay Times, Joseph Arthur Deese, 38, and Edward Lee Dugger, 64, appeared before the federal court and pleaded guilty to conspiracy of illegally paying highly ranked prison officials, associated with former Keefe group commissioner president Jack Donnelly, in case their business in the prisons flourished. No charges have been filed against Keefe commissionary official, and Lawyer Gainesville attorney Gil Schaffnit believes that Keefe Group has a myriad of political connections barring any legal actions against them.

There have been complaints of Keefe group taking advantage of its monopolistic disposition to inflate food prices in prisons. In a petition addressed to Governor Scott of Florida, concerns have been raised as to why contracts are not being advanced to other companies who are willing to supply the same commodities as Keefe at prices lower by 60% of what Keefe is selling. Keefe’s latest increases in costs have escalated violence and robbery in Florida prisons as the goods have become less affordable to the prisoners.

Less is expected to change; we are living in a capitalist-dominated world where few get rich, and majority suffer from exploitation. However, corruption in the criminal justice system is a serious issue should be condoned and combated with whatever means. Anyone affiliated with corrupt syndicates must be apprehended and brought to justice. In this, my opinion is, Keefe group has no exemption. Any form of exploitation and corruption needs to be rooted out, and any prison official found in a mess should be brought to justice.

Read More: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/student-activists-demand-washington-university-cut-ties-with-andrew-taylor/article_3f8f03e7-9a96-5af1-85f9-15eb782270de.html

IC Solutions Poised To Drive Crime Rates Up With New Tech

There is a battle currently raging at Sangamon County Jail over video visitation. The provider of the video visitation, a company called IC Solutions (icsolutions.com), argues that the video visitation technology will make it easier on jail personnel when it comes to personal visitations. IC Solutions argues that video visitation is a great tool for families that need to travel great distances in order to visit with their incarcerated loved one.

Sangamon County Jail is installing video screens in all jail cells, reports the State Journal Register. When a family member shows up to the jail in order to visit with their incarcerated loved one, they will be linked through the Internet and able to talk to each other through computer screens. Prior to the installation of these video visitation screens, friends and family visited with their incarcerated loved ones through a thick glass screen. They could see each other but had to talk over a telephone line. Now all they will see of each other is a grainy computer screen.

Prison privacy groups argue that this will increase recidivism. They cite studies that show visitation reduces a prisoner’s penchant for committing more crimes once released from jail. Prison privacy groups believe that video visitation does not replace in-person visitation and will drive crime rates through the roof.

The prison privacy groups most painful statement was that it is difficult to tell a child that they cannot see their parents anymore. If the video visitation program goes through, many children will arrive at the prison expecting to see their parents but will be forced to visit with them over a grainy computer screen. I personally believe that the prison privacy group is correct in saying that video visitation cannot replace in-person visitation. I believe families arriving at the prison facility must be given a choice.

Prison rights advocates seek end to punitive phone rates

Prison is a terrible place to live. Some would say that it should be that way, that prison is supposed to be a punitive environment and that retribution and deprivation of freedom are the core operating principles of any right-minded criminal justice system. No matter one’s opinion of such matters, it has never been a serious contention of any philosophy of Western justice that the family members of the guilty should be made to pay for their crimes. Yet in the case of prison phone calls, that is exactly what some say is taking place.

The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, reveals globaltellinkreviews.com. Far exceeding that of the most overtly oppressive regimes, such as the People’s Republic of China, nearly 10 million of the country’s citizens are in some stage of the criminal justice system, from awaiting trial to the last day of parole or probation. This stark reality has left some 2,700,000 children with parents who are currently incarcerated in one of the nation’s myriad prisons.

One of the most important ways in which these children are able to keep in touch with incarcerated parents is through the inmate calling system. But in many cases, the rates that families are forced to pay are so high that they could only be described as punishment. Rates from companies like Global Tel link of up to $1.22 per minute are seen in prisons throughout the country. Because inmates in U.S. prisons typically have no significant source of income, these costs are almost exclusively borne by their families, who fund the inmates’ calling accounts remotely, either over the phone or on the internet.

Prisoner rights groups such as the Consumer Affairs, say that this is an unfair burden on the families. Why should the innocent wives, parents and children of convicts be made to pay for crimes in which they had no complicity?

Read More: http://mythreecents.com/reviews/global-tel-link

The Keefe Group Corners the Inmate Commissary Market

The Keefe Group operates through a number of different affiliates. These enterprises include Keefe Supply Company, Keefe Commissary Network, Access Securepak, Access Corrections, ICSolutions and Advanced Technologies Group.

The Keefe Group is ranked as the leading supplier of food products, technology, personal care products, clothing, electronics, telecommunications and software solutions operating in the correctional marketplace in the United States today.

Beginning in 1975, the Keefe Group serviced the correctional market in a number of different ways. The company provides its services to a majority of correctional institutions in the United States today. This includes correctional institutions on the local, state, and federal level in the United States.

When it comes to commissary or canteen services for inmates, the Keefe Group enters into exclusive agreements with correctional agencies and institutions. Through these agreements, the Keefe Group becomes to the sole provider of commissary services at a correctional institution.

According to KingFish, as a result of the Keefe Group being the sole provider of commissary services at a particular institution, the company is able to name its own price when it comes to the products sold to inmates. Inmates have no ability to negotiate a better, more appropriate price structure. Institutions have no motivation to strive to get better pricing for incarcerated offenders.

Inmates are able to make purchases via an institutional commissary or canteen, usually on a weekly basis. Friends and family place money in an inmate’s institutional trust account. The inmate can then utilize those funds to make purchases from the commissary or canteen. Unfortunately, the inmate is faced with products that are sold at higher prices than what is found in the “real world.”

In recent months, an ever increasing number of relatives and friends of incarcerated men and women are becoming concerned with the business practices of the Keefe Group, reports the Tampa Bay Times. These individuals are banding together to effect change in regard to the operations of the Keefe Group, particularly the company’s pricing practices in commissaries and canteens at North American correctional facilities. The sincere hope of these individuals is that there will be power in numbers and that they will be able to break some of the monopolistic practices of the Keefe Group.

 

Businessmen With Keefe Ties Face The Music

Correctional facility cantina goods supplier Keefe Group is embroiled in yet another bribery scandal.

On Wednesday, Joseph A. Deese, 34, a businessman with ties to Keefe Group, pleaded guilty in federal court to bribery and kickback charges. His co-defendant, Edward L. Duggar, 64, plead guilty to similar charges in March.

Both men were indicted after a long investigation into Keefe Group’s ties to prison officials. James V. Crosby, who was appointed prison secretary by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and another high-ranking official, Allen W. Clark, have already served federal time in connection with the case.

According to prosecutors, Duggar, also owner of a Tallahassee Allstate Insurance company, befriended Crosby shortly after his appointment. Through the friendship, Duggar was given access to the prisons’ Police Benevolent Association for the purpose of selling insurance to prison guards. Crosby also introduced both Duggar and Deese to Keefe CEO Jack Donnelly.

In a report by prisoncensorship.info, as part of the kickback scheme, Duggar and Deese created a company and were given a “piece” of the Keefe Group cantina business. In return, the pair made monthly payments to Crosby, Clark and Donnelly.

Federal prosecutor Thomas O’Neil says local police received a tip, which was turned over to the FBI. Wiretaps captured several conversations between parties setting up bribery payments. Duggar and Deese initially denied the allegations but later confessed when presented with the tapes.

Although no Keefe official to date has been charged, O’Neill says he won’t rule out additional charges being filed.

Duggar and Dees are scheduled for sentencing in July.

 

Prison telephone calls, where prisons, contractors and rights groups can agree

Many prisoners’ rights groups recruit inmates and family members to agitate on behalf of what they perceive to be an unjust prison system that has become entrenched across the United States. From a political standpoint, this is always a tough row to hoe because of the generally toxic nature of the violent criminal demographic. People can muster sympathy for just about any group, even animals. But when the group includes rapists and murderers, it’s hard to get hard working Americans to pay a whole lot of attention to the cause being advocated for.

 

Nonetheless, these groups exist and often times land the powerful backing of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and even funds headed by George Soros. Such powerful backing by those willing to spend real money to promote some of their initiatives has allowed these groups and the people they represent to command a louder presence than they may have otherwise been able to put forth.

 

One area where prison reformists have targeted their ire is prison calling. The rates are largely perceived to be universally too high by these groups. They also tend to object to any aspect of the prison system being privatized, including the handling of phone calls. However, the evidence is clear that in many jurisdictions across the country, prisoners are making more phone calls than ever before. The private-public nexus between prisons and inmate communications providers has widely yielded rates of between 10 and 15 cents per minute. Such low rates hardly fit the typical reformists’ accusations of price gouging.

 

 

UC Berkley Launches Partneship with UC Berkley

Earlier this week the Underground Scholar Initiaitve that was created by UC Berkley welcomed its first round of graduates. This initiative was created as a pipeline from prison to UC Berkley.

 

Many prisoners feel once they are released their is no hope for them to enter into society but these prisoners are walking into the world with a new mindset as they will be walking away from prison with college degrees.

 

This years innagural graduation included speeches from thought leaders throughout California who encouraged the graduates to shoot for the stars and to remind them that the sky is the limit.

 

 

One special graduate had even more to celebrate as he received his masters degree and announced amongst his peers that he had been accepted into a PH.D. Program. So if you’re wondering how a college could accept an ex felon? Well at UC Berkley ex felon isn’t even a topic.