There are many children in the country who have a parent who is in the prison system. My children are among those. The only way that they can talk to their father is when he calls because the facility is too far away for us to go visit him. However, talking on the phone is expensive because Global Tel Link, the company that the prison system uses so that inmates can call home, charges rates that are very high. Since we live so far away from the facility, the rate that I have to pay is a little higher than most. It’s about $5 for one phone call, and that call is only about 10 minutes. There are times when we have been disconnected and money still taken off of the account. This is a money-hungry company, but fortunately, there is a petition online on the ACLU website that people are signing to try to get the rates lowered. The FCC and advocates like the Consumerist is investigating as well. The and FCC wants to do everything possible to get GTL to decrease its rates or to get the rates capped. There hasn’t been a lot of work done, but if more people sign the petition, then there is a chance that action will be taken soon. To learn more about GTL’s corrupt practices, watch this YouTube video.
Global Tel-Link has always been at odds with its biggest competitor, Securus. Sure, both businesses provide communication services to inmates who need to talk to their loved ones, but the companies want to take over the industry. I will tell you that I was not sure which side to take, but that became clear to me not too long ago.
Bullying on Both Sides
Global Tel-Link has bullied Securus a few times. There was a time when the company went to court in hopes of giving Securus a bad name. Global Tel-Link filed a suit, claiming that its competitor had stolen patented technology. This turned out to be a total fabrication, but it worked in Global Tel-Link’s favor.
There have been other things that Global Tel-Link has done to take the upper-hand, but Securus decided to get in the ring with its corporate enemy. The first thing that Securus did was expose documents linking Global Tel-Link to questionable actions regarding its customers. Keep in mind that Global Tel-Link was being investigated for overcharging people. I have seen YouTube videos regarding how much this company was making off the calls. Some people said that their calls were about 20 cents per minute while others paid something like 89 cents per minute.
In a report by Consumerist.com, Securus was holding this information for a while but decided to release it now that GTL is bleeding. The documents proved that this company was adding minutes to bills. You guys get that? According to ACLU, the company decided that it was okay to just add minutes that were never used to bills and expected people like us to pay because we would not notice it.
This was a strategic attack and a form of bullying. I do think that Securus was right to release this information. I support Securus, but I am sure there is some dirt hidden in that company’s closet, too. No company is clean now-a-days.
In the United States, inmates can buy certain items through commissary. This is a way for prisoners to acquire personal items such as hygiene, tobacco, and extra food items. Certain name brand items can be brought through commissary. These items can range from Pepsi, Coca-Cola and other name brands. The Keefe Group has made millions of dollars by supplying numerous federal prisons and local jails with commissary products.
The Keefe Group’s launch recognized that there was a strong need in this area. Many of the items that are offered to inmates in the United States by this group carry a higher price tag. The goods inmates can buy does have strict limitations. Also, items can only be purchased through the inmate’s on-site or virtual account. All the funding accounts are limited to a few hundred dollars. I think a high mark up on the items provided through commissary has several pros and cons.
Formed by Commissary
Discouraging repeated visits to jail is one of the reasons I think the markup on these items are high. According to STL Today, one of the main issues surrounding commissary distribution includes higher revenues and profits made by suppliers. Accordingly, the profit margins made through this system include companies like the Keefe Group. While there are U.S laws which unambiguously prevent any company from monopolizing any field of commercial interest, the Keefe Group remains to have exclusive rights. It’s one of the principal providers to local jails and federal prisons in the United States. Accordingly, who is making the money?
There are many organizations who discourage the higher price markups on commissary items provided in prisons. However, by discouraging inmates from becoming repeat offenders is an important aspect of the criminal justice system. This can take in the form of marking up the items provided through the commissaries in the state and federal levels. Consequently, The Keefe Group did see a need that needed to be fulfilled in the criminal justice system. The way which the profits are made is still current and a large debate among many today.
I write a report because there are numerous complaints (http://icsolutions.pissedconsumer.com/state/arizona.html) raised against ICSolutions. For the main reason that the company exists, digital lines are cellphones will continue to increase in price. When receiving calls from inmates on this phone calls, you will have a prepaid payment in advance to make the call. These calling rates are based on the area code where the call is transferred. For as long as you live closer to the facility, your calling rates will be lower than usual.
Hillsborough is that best facility for ICSollutions. Because of this, their rates accumulate to a fee of 10.91. Every service covered by ICSolutions has a processing fee. However, the processing fee can be waived for some countries like Mexico.
When using a cell phone, ICSolutions always issues refunds for dropped calls in a professional manner. Because of the mobile phone quality, they always say that they can’t refund dropped calls funds. However, some correctional facilities have higher connection fee compared to others. Some do not receive refunds from dropped calls. However, you will still complain about three-months if your call falls below 85 cents. Because you are poor, you better save your money for food.
ICSolutions agents come out handy if you keep your call minutes to the minimum. However, you will be lucky if you want to put money on other commodities rather than calls. Because there is one agent that fails to understand the essence of helping inmates, most of them hate their commitment. If you want to call an inmate, be sure that ICSolutions can never provide the best assistance. They have a primary run-time system set up to mint money from clients. They may assist you, but they are among the worst in the industry. You should also consider that you are talking to human agents as well. To learn more about IC Solutions and the services they provide, visit the State Journal Register website.
I used to laugh at women who fell in love with people in prison, but here I am telling you that it is possible. It started as a dare, and for some reason, I really connected with this guy. His name is Louis. He is supposed to get out in a year, which is very exciting. I have gone to see him every now and then, but it is hard because of my job. We started as pen pals but soon moved to phone calls, which is how I became acquainted with Global Tel-Link.
I would love to tell you that everything is peachy, and it sort of is, at least between us but not with Global Tel-Link. A friend of mine showed me a YouTube video about the company that really upset me. It seems the company decided that it was okay to add minutes to people’s bills when we did not even use them. Who told GTL that this was okay? GTL also added fees to our bills for no reason. I went straight home and collected all of my bills, and I swear that I saw some anomalies now that I paid attention.
I have been circling all the charges that look fishy and have been calling Global Tel-Link. I already told Louis, and he has been spreading the word inside so that other people do the same thing. Global Tel-Link needs to know we will not take this and that people like me will fight them. I learned from PR News that the FCC is currently investigating the company, but the FCC needs to see that the people are putting pressure on the company, too. I do not care that my Louis is getting out because I will continue to fight this company until it pays for doing what it did to people like me.
It was once a dream that inmates would be able to receive mail electronically. The Keefe Group has made this possible. With Their new Access Secure Photo program, inmates can receive mail through a private email given to them by Keefe. This mail can include dozens of photos with each message.
All inmates have to do is give the jail a list of names of the people who will be sending them email messages. Once these people are approved, they can send messages to inmates on a daily basis. Inmates can also send messages back. Inmates and their families have both expressed great love for the Access Secure Photo program made by Keefe. This especially true for individuals living where weather gets bad in the winter time. Family members do not always have the ability to visit their relatives in jail; this is also on holidays. This new email services has made it possible for people to have daily contact with their loved ones in jail even without going to the jail everyday. See, http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=39055.
The Keefe Group instructs jails to train several employees on the Access Secure Photo system. There are quick and easy ways jail employees can check all of the emails that come in and out of the jail. Fist off, the program is built to flag certain words to come to an inmate or sent from an inmate. These words will prove that the inmate is speaking of criminal activity. Of course, the jail employee has the right to read each email. The employee then has the right to report the inmate or the person sending the inmate mail.
When it comes to pictures Tampa Bay Times reveals that the jail employee has the ability to look at approximately 40 pictures at one time. The employee can analyze each picture individually, but the approximate 40 picture feature helps employees go through hundreds of emails in about an hour.
The Keefe Group is trying to think of new ways that both inmates and jail employees can benefit from the Access Secure Photo program. They are open to suggestions from both inmates and jail officials.
Global Tel-Link is cemented in my mind for several reasons. The name of the company stirs up feelings of sadness and anger. This business helped me talk to my mom but also forced me to hang up early. Now, I am upset with the company for other reasons.
I remember that night, yet I cannot remember anything else about it. My mother was drinking, and she kept looking out the window. I remember trying to get her attention, but it was as if she could not hear my voice. She kept cursing, and then I saw my father. As soon as my dad came in, they began to fight. I rushed to my bedroom. It got pretty loud, and I couldn’t muffle the screams no matter how much I tried. Suddenly, I heard the sound of my father calling out for me in a tone that shattered my heart. I remember calling the cops, but the rest of the story is muffled.
My mother went to jail. I wanted to hate her for what she did to my father, but I could not find the strength to do so. I wanted to hear her voice, and I still wanted to be with her. My aunt did not have a lot of money to travel to see her often. I remember hearing Global Tel-Link’s message, telling me how long I had to talk to my mom, and I hated that.
Global Tel-Link as I Grew
I did not understand much when I was young, but the internet has definitely opened up my eyes. I learned from Bloomberg how Global Tel-Link has taken advantage of people like me. This company knows how much people like me miss their loved ones, and it uses that. I found out that it charged my aunt rates as high as 89 cents per minute. Worse as revealed by New York Times than that, the company also charged us for minutes that I never even used.
I have no power. I know that, but I want GTL to know that people like me deserve an apology. We want our money back, with interest. Visit https://action.aclu.org/global-tel and see what we can do.
Since their inception, the company has continued to provide packaging and products designed to meet the unique needs of the correction industry in security and safety requirements. The company’s chief innovation includes the soft-punch containers for food that replaced the highly-volatile metal containers. They also offer transparent electronic housing and clear packaging for personal care products.
The company offers over 10,000 private-label and name-brand products to many country, state, federal prisons, and other institutions. While they never consider the scope or size of the facility, their primary goal is to provide 100 percent consumer satisfaction. The company offers:
- Free, same-day shipping
- A countrywide distribution network
- Price stability
- The right packaging and products
- Exceptional service
It is time for a change. JJ obtained payments and contracts to the Keefe Food Group network together with its network G.T. Enterprise through a request in the public records. G.T earned over $3 million, and Keefe Food Group received over $40 million through MDOC inmate services I gross revenue. In 2008, Keefe Group contract began to be renewed numerous times. In 2011, their contract was last renewed to allow the company conducts endless business with the inmate correction facilities. According to the KingFish blog, the contract was set to expire in 2015. Chris Epps was the commissioner that signed each contract in the state prisons. Keefe was responsible for providing the following services:
- Exclusive rights to vend commissary items such as personal hygiene products, food, tobacco, and other personal items to inmates.
- Processing inmates deposits
- An exclusive right to sell song downloads. Inmates would pay $1.7 per song. For that amount, MDOC receives only $0.10.
- Processing inmates trust funds and the sake of prepaid debit cards
- Exclusive rights to sell MP3 music players to the correctional facilities. A cost for one MP3 player is $115 including government tax. For every player sold, MDOC receives only $15.
For every sale in the state and prison service, Keefe Food group receives a commission of 30 percent. For every privately-operated state prisons, Keefe Food Group would receive 25 percent commission. For all visitation bags sold on a monthly basis, the company deducted 10 percent. View the company profile on corrections.com.
Inmate Calling Solutions has been around since 2002 and has been able to be integrated into hundreds of correctional facilities all over the country. IC Solutions is a subsidiary of a company named Centric Group. The company has up to date technology and jail phone services and they say that they are currently the industry leader. The are able to serve hundreds of thousands of inmates and are supposed to provide them with the means to keep in touch with loved ones. I feel that technology that ICS provides could be used more efficiently at less cost to those trying to keep in touch with inmates. There are multiple complaints regarding the company and their practices.Your text to link….
ICS claims to be in tune with the needs of both the facility and the inmates but multiple complaints about excessive charges have been filed. They say that they have been able to tailor their services to provide the most complete and comprehensive services available today but many question the validity of the company. I have found out from ripoffreport.com that ICS provides not only inmate phone services, but they manage inmate banking, commissary services, the ability to detect cell phones, officer check-ins, kiosk operation and management, and many other services. They claim to be able to handle most services from admission to exit from the facility. ICS is used by the facilities so that they can save large sums of money by allowing the company to manage many aspects of the daily management of the location. The service itself, however, is riddled with complaints about dropped calls and overcharging. I have found several public reports of possible fraud and other unsavory issues with the company.
Today, the Keefe Group is well known around the correctional market, as not only have they been in business for decades, starting up in 1975, but they are one of the leaders in the industry in the present. They started out with a very small reach and limited number of goods to provide, and today they are capable of supplying correctional institutions all over the country, regardless of how remote they may be. They have also increased their service and product list greatly, offering hundreds of different options today. The company has a lengthy and important screening process to ensure their workers are understanding and up to the task of working with inmates and correctional facilities. This is to ensure the highest level of professionalism and reliability.
By far, one of the most valuable and most wanted services by the Keefe Group is their communication services, which enables inmates to stay in contact with their loved ones. This is made possible with the advancements in technology, and with how large the company has become. The Keefe Group is actually a corporation that is made up of several companies, all working together to provide the highest level of service possible for correctional facilities.
The Keefe Group according to kingfish1935, was originally started in Missouri, where they were a small business that could not provide for many facilities. Over time they steadily increased their size and expanded their number of business locations as well as centers for distribution. After more than 4 decades of making connections and building up their reputation, they are capable of supplying nearly all correctional facilities within the country without too much of a problem.
Whether it’s food, clothes, haircuts, shoes, electronics, personal care, or communication, the Keefe Group is ready to supply their clients with whatever they may need, and in a timely manner as well. They have several software suites that allow them to manage and keep their information up to date very easily for all correctional facilities that use their services. Learn more about the correctional facilities and inmate community on tampabay.com.