How much should one have to pay to keep in touch with the ones they love? Most people who live in the everyday world communicate with others who aren’t within walking distance via telephone. People look for the reasonable rates, and best quality service. But what about those who don’t have the option of choosing a provider with the best service at the lowest rate possible? How do they communicate with the ones they love without dealing with such high cost; like inmates who are incarcerated with no other alternatives.
The inmate call service is now a 1.7 billion dollar business. Big name companies such as Global Tel-Link profit greatly off of inmates and their loved ones. Bringing in 500 million dollars a year (aclu).. A company by its own accord says they are dedicated to providing the best quality service for its customers according to their L. But whom are they serving? On average the cost to speak to a family member using Global Tel-Link cost $1.13 per-minute. On top of that a monthly 6.95 service charge is also deducted from inmate accounts. The average commercial providers charges about four cents per-minute. The company claims they must charge high fees in order to provide quality service for their clients. But it appears the families are the ones getting the short end of the stick. How is Global Tel-Link able provided service for over 80% of prisons, jails and detention centers without competition? Global Tel Link offer incentives to prisons and jails for signing a contract with the company, basically the jails will receive a commission paid by the company. However it is the families of the inmates that pay the cost, depending on the location of inmates phone calls are the best way to keep in touch with loved ones. The high cost -of fees make this even more difficult for families to keep in touch with their loved ones. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.
Due to the amount of complaints from prison rights groups and fed-up family members the FFC is now doing an investigation. Among their findings they have noticed that prisons aren’t picking companies based on the lowest rate but by the size of the commission they receive. With these new findings the FFC has since closed the caps on long distant calls. However, the costs for inmates who live within local calling distance of their families’ rates remain the same. Read more on nytimes.com to know more about GTL.