Global Tel-Link Charges You a Fortune

Uh oh! Your loved one has just been imprisoned for a crime, and it will be years until he or she comes home again. You could visit your loved one, but your loved one lives hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of miles away. What will you do? Here is an idea: call your loved one up on the phone! Wait a second. Prison phone calls cost a fortune. You do not want to go into debt. You are not rich, and perhaps you are living from paycheck to paycheck. You need to contact your loved one, though, and you have a burning desire to hear his or her voice. What will you do?

Well, there is no easy answer to this question. Prison phone calls are way too much money. A fifteen minute telephone call through Global Tel-Link can cost as much as $17.00. There are tons of flat fees. There are even flat fees charged to add money into your account to pay off flat fees! If you get too carried away and have normal, frequent conversations with your loved one over the phone, you may quickly rack up a phone bill with Global Tel-Link that is worth thousands of dollars. There is no way around this. The system is set up to rip people off. It seems that not much is being done on the part of lawmakers, which is not surprising because Global Tel-Link has sunk it’s tentacles into politics. However, many people outside of Global Tel-Link are profiting off of high cost phone calls, and should also be blamed. Detention centers make a pretty hefty profit from expensive phone calls because they enter contracts with phone companies where the phone companies are obligated to give big kickbacks from revenue. Sometimes, phone companies are even required to give more than just kickbacks.

Keefe Group Involved in Contract Amendments with Federal State Officials Amid Bribery Allegations

The Mississippi Department of Corrections should abolish its non-bid contracts and start a competitive bidding process to get better deals according to Keefe group. The company released the statement amid a review of prison systems after Christopher Epps, a former prisons commissioner, and businessman, Cecil McCrory, were accused of corruption charges. A five-member task force agreed on initial proposals to give to Governor Phil Bryant and legislators ahead of the legislative session. The two pleaded not guilty and awaited trial to begin in April 2017.

Andy Taggart, a lawyer co-chairing the task force, said that the recommendations should encourage transparency in government. The Department of Corrections currently has six no-bid contracts that require cancellation and later will be put up for competitive bids if the task force recommendation from the officials is accepted. One of the contracts is for The Keefe Group, in Missouri, to supply commissary services in Mississippi penitentiaries.

In a report by Prison Censorship, the Keefe Group officially began the supply of commissary services contract in 2008 after Centric Group, its parent company, bought G.T. Enterprises. Among the services offered are delivering candy bars to facilities and facilitating the transfer of money from loved ones to incarcerated inmates.

Bribery in Prison Service Delivery

Two Gainesville businessmen admitted to paying bribes to Keefe Commissary Officers, the St. Louis Company providing personal items and snacks to Florida’s prisoners. Former Corrections Secretary, James V. Crosby, accepted kickbacks from businesspeople looking to do business with the correctional facility. Crosby introduced the two businessmen, Edward Dugger and Joseph Deese, to Keefe executives who then offered them a percentage of the prison business.

The two men launched a company in 2004 to provide canteen services for persons visiting their loved ones housed in all Florida prisons. In return, Edward and Joseph paid the prisons officials monthly kickbacks ranging from $1,000- $13,000. They also paid Jack Donnelly, a former Keefe Commissary president and a Keefe executive $260,000 of the roughly $1.4 million a year they expected in sales.

Crosby and Clark were forced to resign as a result of the bribery investigations, but Keefe Commissary officials did not receive any corruption charges. Gainesville lawyer Gil Schaffnit, representing Deese, said that Keefe Commissary has powerful political connections.