KEEFE GROUP AND THE CORRUPTION IN THE ALLOCATION OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES CONTRACTS

Keefe Group is one of the leading inmate communications companies in the whole world. The company has been providing the correctional facilities market with food products, electronics, products for personal care, clothing, computer services, inmate phones, pharmacy supplies and equipment, health and beauty supplies, sending money services, inmate management systems, greeting cards, commissary management, telecommunications, technology, and software among others.

 

Keefe Group And Bribery Allegations:

 

Keefe Group has also been under fire for bribing prison officials for their services to be utilized in some correctional facilities. Joseph Deese and Edward Lee Duggar pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. The two were guilty of bribing Keefe Group employees and Florida prison officers. The insurance brokers had entered into this deal to get part of the cash accrued from the prison business. The accused men had created a company that was supplying all the Florida prisons with canteen services. However, they had to pay prison officials Clark and Crosby up to fourteen thousand dollars and Keefe officials up to two hundred and sixty thousand dollars annually.

 

The two prison officials had to quit their jobs and serve time in federal prisons. Regardless of this, none of the Keefe Group Officials have been charged with any offense. One of the lawyers who is representing the defendants, Gil Schaffnit even pointed out that the Keefe Commissary is highly connected politically.

In Mississippi, a task group of five members was set up to challenge the eligibility of correctional facilities contracts. The task force was formed after Christopher Epps who was the previous Corrections Commissioner and Cecil McCrory who is a businessman were also indicted on corruption charges related to correctional facilities contracts. The task force recommended that the Department of Corrections in Mississippi should not allow any contracts that have not undergone bidding.

 

The recommendations of the working group are meant to encourage transparency and discourage corruption in the correctional facilities provision system. If all the states endorse the recommendations, then the intense cases of bribery allegations that are being experienced by companies such as the Keefe Group will not be there anymore.

 

Global Tel-Link Is Only Part of The Problem

Already, the hassle of something going wrong, being arrested, going to court and being imprisoned can be a hugely tiring and traumatizing experience for inmates. However, it is also a very traumatizing and tiring experience for the loved ones of imprisoned people. It couldn’t get any more worse than that, right? Wrong! To make matters worst, people are barred from calling their imprisoned loved ones unless they agree to pay outrageous phone bills for not enough time. People who have not gone through the experience of being imprisoned or having a close loved one who is imprisoned may not understand this problem or may not think that it is of high priority. Another reason why people may not consider this to be a high priority problem is because of the fact that a negative stigma surrounds people who are imprisoned, as well as their families. People who are imprisoned are thought to “deserve” anything negative that comes their way. Any suffering that their families feel may be lightly shrugged off as being rightful consequences, or perhaps the faults of the inmates. Also, relatives of inmates may be stigmatized as being “trashy” and undeserving. In reality, they are just innocent individuals who happen to know people close to them who are imprisoned.

Global Tel-Link is a company that relies on these negative stigmas that the general population believes in order to price gouge the enlightened ones who have imprisoned relatives or friends. They provide expensive phone service for prisons and jails so that people can call their imprisoned loved ones. There can be a whole, legitimate argument written to demonize Global Tel-Link. However, Global Tel-Link is only part of the problem. Jails and prisons are the ones who choose phone companies. They choose based off of which company they can squeeze the most kickbacks from. This encourages phone companies to put the most price gouging, unethical practices in place.

Read more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tel-link-gtl-issues-inaccurate-press-release–securus-corrects-inaccuracies-300264749.html

The Keefe Group Has an Unintentional Lesson About Food

I’ve started being a lot more careful with my meals. There’s so many news stories stressing the physical and psychological importance of nutrition that it seemed time to makes some changes for the better. However, this is also why I was shocked to read a prisoner’s first hand accounts of his diet. Part of why I’m so careful with my diet these days is due to a strong drive to become the best person I can be. In theory at least, that’s what the penal system is trying to do with prisoners as well. I’d always just assumed that prison food would be chosen based on the latest scientific research. Know more about Keefe Group on kununu.com

The prisoner instead put emphasis on a private company by the name of the Keefe Group. That seemed rather odd to me. After all, prisons are a government funded system. It seems strange that a private company would even be involved with selling anything to prisoners. Let alone selling food to them.

What’s even more worrisome is that the food sold by the Keefe Group is the kind of thing that they’re going to look forward to all day. Anyone who’s been in a hospital knows how desperate people get for real food after a while. The bland hospital fare is actually a step up from the lack of taste found in most prison food. Prison food is healthy, but also made to minimize any risk of medical complication. Basically anything with even a slight chance of provoking allergic reactions, aggravating ulcers or conflicting with dietary restrictions won’t make it to the prison cafeteria. There’s an underlying assumption that private companies like the Keefe Group will pick up the slack as far as actual taste goes. Read more news on Tampa Bay Times

The Keefe Group, in turn, has seized on the perfect opportunity to grab a captive market. They’ve realized that they can sell almost anything with a bit of taste to it at outrageous prices. Typical prison contracts allow for exclusivity in service. As such, the Keefe Group never has to worry about anyone else selling higher quality food at competitive prices. The end result is that prisoners become desperate to give everything they have to the Keefe Group. The Keefe Group, in turn, provides prisoners with a stream of tasty but usually quite unhealthy food.

The worst part of this situation is that it might well interfere with rehabilitation. Prisoners need proper meals if they’re going to focus on becoming better citizens. If finding candy bars is their main concern then they’re not going to be prepared for the outside world. I’d hope that prisons could be a bit more firm with minimal standards for the Keefe Group’s pricing and nutritional profiles.

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

 

Top prison communications firms make killing, while families are crushed by costs

Global Tel Link is the nation’s largest prison communications provider. Like it’s arch nemesis, Securus Technologies, the company has grown up over the last decade. Both companies have generated billions of dollars per year in revenues and both have changed hands among high-flying hedge funds multiple times in recent history. GTL recently handled over 300 million phone calls in one year and reported that it had paid out over $500 million in commissions to the penal institutions where it does business. The prison calling industry has become big business.

 

But not everyone in reaping the windfall. Throughout the country, there are still hundreds of thousands of families who are forced to shell out extreme amounts of money, just to stay in touch with their incarcerated loved ones. In one example, a mother of two was paying well over $2,000 per year in phone charges, so that her sons could have their father in their lives. But even after having paid so much, her children were scarcely able to talk with their father more than once a week. And her story is far from the worst.

 

In Arizona, inmates pay some of the highest phone rates in the country. The state average for outgoing phone calls is more that $1 per minute, an incredible sum of money, many times what the free market rates would be for similar services. Opponents of the current calling regime say that because inmates are literally a captive market, these companies and the prisons that employ them are charging monopoly prices, clearly in contravention of various anti-trust laws.

 

In summer of 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative and other advocacy groups presented essentially this same argument to the Federal Communications Commission. They argued that the rent seeking that was being seen throughout various states was extremely harmful to inmates and their families and that it was only being made possible by the total monopoly that the companies enjoyed on calling services within any given prison. The FCC agreed. It passed new regulations that would have capped all prison phone rates to just $.21 cents per minute.

 

Within hours, GTL and Securus Technologies were taking action. They jointly filed a motion for an injunction against the FCC in a D.C. circuit court. The presiding judge agreed that the FCC had hastily promulgated the new regulations, without duly considering the implications they would have on the market as a whole. The judge issued an injunction, ordering the FCC to show cause before the court. The plaintiffs argued that had the regulations gone through, much of the prison calling system in the United States would have been put in jeopardy, placing at risk the ability of up to half of the nation’s inmates to have any access to phones at all.

 

But hard-line law-and-order types, such as Joe Arpaio, have a point when they say not to commit crimes if inmates and their families don’t like paying the going rates. The hard truth is that, in modern America, no one sympathizes much with the incarcerated.