The Overcharged Bill of Communication

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2017/01/parental_incarceration_phone_c.html

 

Not every family can afford the communication price of some penitentiaries and prisons around the world. It is no recent news that prisons use the communication service to profit a lot from the inmates and their desperate attempts to have a decent contact with their families. Of course, this is not a rule that describes 100% of the facilities: Those that use a third-party communication provider service, with guaranteed security and transparency, usually maintain a relatively ethical price on the phone service.

 

This reality is harsher than many people think. There are hundreds of families that end up spending thousands of dollars on communication just to have regular contact with their family member that is incarcerated. Sometimes, it’s a fairly bad communication system.

 

There is also the other side of the spectrum. Companies like Securus Technologies Communications are developing ways for inmates to utilize a smartphone app from the agency to directly contact their families without having to clog the telephone waiting line. Of course, not every correction agency is willing to stop the profit that the traditional phone system brings, but the technology exists.

 

This sad truth is usually truer for families that can’t afford to visit their loved ones in prison. Sometimes, countries and borders separate them, and there’s nothing they can do besides calling the agency.

 

Robert Richardson, with a 60-year sentence at Louisiana State Penitentiary, speaks about how it’s the only way to maintain contact with his kids and his beloved wife, even though they are throwing away a significant chunk of the family’s income.

 

The communication industry, however, has a bright future ahead for families that want to maintain contact with their relatives and friends. More and more, law enforcers and the legislative sector are paying attention to these kinds of overbilling, and companies that provide communication systems are finding new ways to improve the communication while making welcome changes for both sides.

 

The Fight for Affordable Prison Calls

Every week, without fail, while Ulandis Forte was incarcerated he would speak with his grandmother, Martha Wright. As the years wore on, he realized that other inmates did not make or receive as many calls as him. In fact, Forte observed that inmates over time tended to communicate less with the outside world. While this could be for a number of reasons, it wasn’t until his grandmother, a middle-class retiree, told him how much of a financial burden the calls truly were, yet she refused to limit contact with her grandson. Instead, she reached out to the DC Prisoners’ Project and began seeking legal action, spearheading a group that brought about a class action suit against inmate phone companies and the Corrections Corporation of America, according to The Verge. In 2001, the lawsuit stagnated once a judge decided the petitioners would need to seek change with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, this did not stop Wright and fellow supporters. They called upon the FCC to limit rates to $0.20 a minute for cross-state debit calls and $0.25 for collect calls. It wasn’t until Mignon Clyburn was appointed as interim chairwoman of the FCC in 2009 that the tides began to turn. She saw the struggle as another provocation against the poor and sought to change it. That same year, the commission passed new laws limiting collect calls to $0.25. Of the FCC’s decision, Clyburn said, “This all began with one Washington, DC grandmother, Mrs. Martha Wright, who spoke truth to power in 2003, and reminded us that one voice can still spur a movement and drive meaningful change”. Upon being released after almost 20 years, Forte credits his seamless reintegration to the contact he was able to maintain with family during his incarceration.

 

 

Securus Technologies Receives Approval of Efficient Internal Control and Security

Securus Technologies, national provider of correctional facilities technology continues to build its reputation and integrity by allowing a third-party, an independent accounting & auditing firm complete a thorough and detailed evaluation. The firm also performed testing of internal controls, transactions, and other activities at Securus. The inmate telecommunications provider is the only provider in the industry to attain Service Organization Control Certification issued in an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement. It is the responsibility of an inmate technology provider to meet the needs of correctional institutions, including security and public safety with call management systems. SOC I reports give providers, inmates, families, and correctional facilities a peace of mind concerning security.

 

 

The Statement of Service Organization Control Certification validates Securus call management systems are secured and safe. It proves the systems accurately control, manage and process call records and recordings for security and investigation. Such information and investigative activities must rely on high technology management products. CEO of Securus, Richard Smith said in a PR Newswire news release that the SOC I Certification sets Securus apart from other inmate telecommunications providers because of the third-party review of their security and operational controls. He also said, during the certification process, all Securus Associates and accuracy of job performances were tested.

 

 

 

Securus Technologies is the leading civil and criminal justice technology provider in the U.S. The company provides services to nearly 3,400 law enforcement institutions in 48 states. Securus has 30 years of experience in the inmate telecommunications industry, offering inmate self-service, communication, information management, investigation, public information, and emergency response products and services. Richard A. Smith serves as Chief Executive Officer and runs the company’s daily operations. He ensures Securus maintains ethnical practices with their clients, consumers and the incarcerated.

Global Tel-Link Dominates the Prison Phone Industry

The prison phone industry generates more than $1 billion on an annual basis. It is no surprise that new companies are popping up every day in an attempt to get a piece of this very lucrative pie. The company that has risen above all others to become the titan of prison phone providers is Global Tel-Link. Many people are curious how this company has managed to rise above all of their competitors and thoroughly dominate them. After all, it is not like the phone service they are providing to prisons is so much better than what their competitors are offering.

According to Yelp, one of the reasons that Global Tel-Link has risen so rapidly over a relatively short period of time involves their political connections. It helps if you know people in very high places. The company has no shortage of elected officials who are always willing to lend a helping hand to the prison phone provider. Why are these politicians so eager to help Global Tel-Link when they are in need? The answer is very simple. Based on mythreecents.com review, these politicians receive very healthy campaign contributions from Global Tel-Link before every one of their reelection campaigns. Therefore, the politicians know that they must do the bidding of Global Tel-Link if they want to keep the campaign contributions rolling in on a regular basis.

Having politicians on their side also helped Global Tel Link to get contracts for many large prisons that are worth a small fortune. There is supposed to be a fair and non-partial bidding process to determine how all of the prison phone service contracts are awarded. However, Global Tel-Link easily gets around that process by greasing some palms and arranging the outcome of the game before it is even played. This is how they operate. They have no morals. All they care about is money.

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/58518-global-tellink-class-action-claims-unfair-rates-inmates/

Prisons Appreciate the Keefe Group

The Keefe Group has come up with options that will allow prisons to create a better environment within the areas that they are located in. This has allowed the prisons to make sure that they are doing what they can to protect the prisoners and to also protect the general public from the prisoners (which is the point of a prison). The way that the Keefe Group works is not to control what the prison does or even have any type of say over what the prisoners are allowed to do but it aims to make sure that the prisons are able to get the help that they need so that they will be able to do more with the options that they have. It also gives the Keefe Group the chance to make sure that they are doing what they can while they are offering different opportunities for the prisons.

There are many prisons that are overcrowded, reports tampabay.com. The administration may have trouble keeping up with the prisons and they don’t even know what they are going to do if they get more inmates who are going to be in the prison. It is something that they need to make sure that they are doing so that they can get more help from the government. The prisons don’t always work that way, though. They need to make sure that they are getting what they can and doing what they can to promote options for the people who are in the prison.

When it comes to the prisoners who are in the area, the prisons do what they can to keep control over them. The Keefe Group does what they can to make sure that the prisoners are in prison and that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The kiosks not only provide convenience to the prisoners but it also gives them more entertainment opportunities so that they can do what they need to while they are in different situations. The kiosks help the prisoners to do more with what they have and to show the different opportunities available to them.

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

Who Told Global Tel-Link it was Okay to Steal to Boost Profits?

Global Tel Link is a leading inmate communication company. It is one of the most competitive and successful companies in the industry. It just launched its first move into the future as it began to install new smart technology to help inmates and their families communicate. The technology gives inmates an opportunity to email, text, and video chat. It might seem like everything is going great at Global Tel-Link’s headquarters, but the truth is far from that.

Getting Dirty

I got wind of this company through one of my friends who wanted to find out more about communicating with representatives of our state. She knew that I have always been involved in politics, and she came across information on topclassactions.com regarding Global Tel-Link. It seemed that the company added fees and minutes to bills. She wanted to make sure that the governor of the state knew of her discontent and concern that a company was stealing from people.

My friend showed me a few bills that proved that fees and minutes were padded. She called the GTL, and they denied everything. I gave her everything she needed and hoped for the best.

Digging Deeper

There was no way I was going to ignore this, so I began to do my own research. I knew nothing of this company but did find out from globaltellinkreviews.com that the business made a fortune by setting up telephone services in prisons. This was done by drawing up a contract with different prisons. It was obvious that many prisons forced Global Tel-Link to give up most of their profits to get the contracts.

This was the reason why Global Tel-Link and companies like it began to charge people such high rates. They needed to make up what they were losing. I do not see why the people need to pay for their losses. It seems like the company was still making a profit. The problem is the people running GTL wanted more. That just tells me that companies like Global Tel-Link are just greedy.

Read More: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/global_tel_link.html

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