Global Tel-Link Charges Sarah Koenig $2,500 For Telephone Calls

The Serial podcast, see was one of the most famous podcasts in the history of the world. The 15 installment show covered a murder that took place in 1999. The man in jail for the murder is named Adnan Syed and the journalists driving the podcast is Sarah Koenig.

The final episode of the show started off like many of the shows before, with a collect call from Syed. Except this is not any collect call, it comes from a company called Global Tel-Link. The beginning of the call is painfully familiar to millions of people in America, it states, “This is a Global Tel-Link prepaid call from Adnan Syed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility.”

Global Tel-Link is the largest provider of telecommunication services to law enforcement across the country. They have thousands of private contracts to provide telephone calls to the inmates on the inside of these facilities as well as their families trying to call them from the outside. According to NY Times, they’ve recently made waves in the news because of an FCC regulation that they’ve been unhappy about and their obviously unethical treatment of prisoners and their families.

Global Tel-Link makes calling a prisoner cost prohibitive for many families across the country. This can completely remove a person from his or her family at a critical time in their life. And the lack of communication between an inmate and their family increases recidivism rates. Global Tel-Link does this by charging an absurd amount of fees, forcing families to open accounts with minimum deposits and charging mind blowing rates per minute for even local telephone calls.

To put this matter into perspective, somebody went ahead and did the math. Syed spent over 40 hours on the telephone through Global Tel-Link with investigative journalist Sarah Koenig. The telephone bill added up to over $2,500. Visit today and see what you can do to help.–securus-corrects-inaccuracies-300264749.html

Families Should Complain To The Prison If They Are Unhappy With IC Solutions

Prison telephone service providers (see,, such as IC Solutions, provide a valuable service, especially since many inmates are incarcerated in facilities far from home. The only contact some inmates have with their loved ones is an occasional visit and weekly telephone calls. I never realized the importance of this contact until I read this mother’s story about giving money to IC Solutions and then never hearing from her son. Perhaps the son decided to call a girlfriend instead of his mother, nevertheless, IC Solutions should have a way for the mother to verify that her son is able to use the deposit to make telephone calls.

People have very diverse opinions about IC Solutions. A reviewer on Pissed Consumer tells people who complain about one dropped call on a cell phone should worry more about buying food if they are that poor. He also talks about calling IC Solutions back if the first customer service representative isn’t helpful. Apparently, some people believe that every customer service rep should actually help customers.

If you go by the RipOff Report reviews of IC Solutions that appear on various websites, people believe that the service they provide is too expensive and their customer service isn’t that good. Since the people using IC Solutions have no choice of an inmate telephone provider, they should contact the correctional facility, since the jail or prison awarded IC Solutions the contract. If enough people complain, the facility may think twice before renewing the contract.

Disconnected Calls

I’ve used Global Tel-Link before so that I could talk to my boyfriend in jail. However, the service that the company provides is not that great, and there are several other people as reported by PR News who complain about what is offered as well. There is a connection fee when you set up an account, and in most situations, you have to start with $25 in order to have money on the account to start accepting calls from your loved ones.
Another thing that I always complained about is that the company tends to cut you off in the middle of a phone call. You only get about 10 minutes for a call, and when that is cut short by five minutes, you feel like you’ve been robbed. Forget about getting any kind of money back for the call that was lost because the company tries to blame the dropped call on you or the jail, especially if you are talking on a cell phone. I don’t know how many times I have had to accept two or three calls in order to have a conversation. Thankfully, I had the money on the account, but there are some people who can’t afford the high rates who have a desire to talk to their family members. For more info, refer to this YouTube campaign video.



Global Tel-Link: Another American Horror Story Of The Rich Getting Richer Off The Poor

It’s not difficult to understand that the families of people who commit crimes across the country are usually in the lower socioeconomic strata. There is a prevailing sense that if you are poor in this country, the only way you can make money is to scam it or steal it. Many of the people who try to scam or steal get caught and thrown into prison. But the scamming and stealing does not stop there.

You’re probably unfamiliar with the company Global Tel-Link. According to PrisonTalk Forums, they are a $500 million per year telecommunications company. But you’re not going to contract them to provide you with Internet service or phone. They only exist to provide telephone services to prisoners inside the prison and their families. And they have a bigger scam (watch this YouTube video) going than any of the convicts ever did. And here you can find the plight of poor families with loved ones in prison.

Global Tel-Link is the only way for these families to communicate with their loved ones on the inside. Global Tel-Link ensures this by getting government contracts to provide telephone service while promising that same government kickbacks in the form of commissions off every call. The price is then passed on to the families of the prisoners with calls costing well over one dollar per minute.

This kind of squeeze can really crush a lower socioeconomic family. Many families cannot even afford to set up an account with Global Tel-Link, and the unfortunate few that do have to deal with terrible customer service and calls that are often dropped. This is a stunning example of corporate welfare, where the government outsources services with exclusive contracts to make certain companies wealthy by ensuring a lack of competition. It’s just another example in the United States of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Visit and see what you can do.


GTL Overcharging Prison Phone Calls

Ever since Police in Pennsylvania arrested Mr. Anthony Kofalt for failing to pay for 21 boxes of Whitestrips after walking out of a Walmart, his wife, Heather, has by far spent more than $3,000 – an average of $60 an ever week- only on phone calls made to prison.

Every single instance Ms. Kofalt recharges his calling account with $25, the GTL company running the system makes an automatic $6.95 service charge. Ms. Kofalt doesn’t drive and therefore is engaged in house chores. She is a health care aid and lives with her 19-year-old son, his wife and two grandchildren in the same house. This is all they have. The jail people are wronging them according to Ms. Kofalt, but the only ones getting the real pain of punishment is the friends and family members. Read more:

It was not until the 1990s; inmates would receive and place unlimited calls to family members, friends, and lawyers at calling rates that were almost equivalent to calling rates outside of prison walls. But now as revealed on prisontalk forums, the prison phone call system is a $1.2-billiob-a-year company that is dominated but few monopolistic businesses that manage the calling rates and fees in exorbitant fees by the regular commercial providers of service. It is now the most considerable business – a 400 million jail and prison phone calls that came to a total of six billion minutes of calling in 2014 – that has caught the equity private firm’s eye.

After years of constant complaint (watch this YouTube campaign video) from numerous prison-right unions, friends and family members of the inmates, the Federal Communications Commission according to PR Newswire‘s report is set to investigate the industry’s financial intricacies, which has been unregulated for an extended period. The state and local prison systems will exchange their exclusive contracts at the core of the inquiry.


Keefe Group Involved In Corruption Scandal

The Keefe Group has been named scandal at the state prison level. According to, it started when a pair of businessmen from the Gainesville, Florida were indicted for bribery. The two men openly admitted to paying bribes to state officials in the prison system as well as high ranking people in the Keefe Commissary. Keefe is a company based in St. Louis that makes snakes and other useful items for inmates in the Florida prison system.
The first man who admits to paying bribes to Keefe is Joseph Arthur Deese. He is 38 years old. He made a guilty plea to bribing James Crosby and Allen Wayne Clark who are both officials in the prison system at the highest level. The other man to enter a guilty plea is Edward Lee Dugger. Dugger is 64 years old. he is the owner of an insurance agency located in Gainesville. The two men formed a close relationship with Corrections Secretary James Crosby more than a decade ago and they used the relationship to commit their crimes.

Crosby and Dugger interacted with each other at the Police Benevolent Association, which is a union organization that represents prison guards, and other prison employees. At this time Crosby began doing Business with Keefe Commissary and so he introduced Dugger and Deese to Keefe executives. This is where the corruption began.

Dugger and Deese agreed to pay Jack Donnelly who as an executive officer at Keefe $260,000 a year from the profits they generated through their corrupt scheme. They opened canteens that would provide services to all the prisons in Florida with the explicit intention of overcharging, and hiding money to pocket for themselves. Despite Keefe Commissary’s role in the crime, it is unlikely to face any criminal charges because Keefe executives have many political connections in Florida.

For more information about the Keefe Group and the services they provide visit their website at and their vendor profile on


Massachusetts Sheriff Upset About Losing Commissions From GTL

Families of Hampden County, Massachusetts inmates don’t have to strain their budgets anymore to stay in contact with their loved ones, thanks to the FCC. A 15 minute call used to cost $17, now inmates can talk for 30 minutes for only $3.60. GlobalTel Link, the inmate telephone service provider, was paying the jail a 74 percent commission on the cost of each call, which amounted to approximately $89,000 per month in the jail’s coffers according to an article posted on

Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr., who runs the jail, was not happy with the FCC’s ruling; he even went so far as to threaten to eliminate the inmate’s telephone service. Responding to a MassLive inquiry, the communications officer for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department said that it costs the department $165,487 per year in administrative costs to maintain telephone services for inmates and the remainder of the money from commissions is used to fund various programs for inmates. Critics, however, cite the bloated Hamden County Sheriff’s Department large, 27-person administrative staff, each of whom earns a six-figure salary, as the reason the Sheriff needed the commissions from GlobalTel Link.

Inmates still have access to telephones to contact their families, however, there is no word yet if the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department will maintain the programs that that were funded by the high commissions.

Securus Technologies Provides Sound Security Service

Dallas-based Securus Technologies is proving to be the leader in inmate communications technology with its latest platform. The new VOIP protocol is taking the civil and justice industry by storm.

The technology, considered the largest in the world, is steadily breaking records with its audio and video call service. The prisons that use Securus, use the service exclusively. This saves time and money, and it also makes using the platform much easier. Stricter security is used with the VOIP service, and everyone making and receiving calls are subject to scrutiny.

The Securus system utilizes hundreds of applications, and any prison is equipped to use the platform. All individuals involved are pleased with the platform. Inmates say the VOIP helps them stay in contact with their loved ones. Due to security measures, all inmate calls, excluding the ones with their attorney, are kept on file for 10 years. This is a much-needed measure in the event a situation arises and records are needed.

The system is equipped with other safety measures including a monitoring system to report unauthorized use. It also provides automatic updates. Protocol breaches are also picked up by the system. The new and improved communications system has stopped a number of crimes.

Inmate Communications News Recap

Exorbitant Calling Prices Curtailing Inmates’ ability to Communicate with their Families

Inmate communications is an important aspect of an inmate’s rehabilitation process. Inmates who communicate with their relatives are even better placed to rehabilitate faster and to have a reduced chance of recidivism. Communication helps inmates and their relatives to catch up with each other’s lives.

Despite the importance of inmate communications, there are a lot of issues that face the industry. To begin with, many jails sign contracts with a single service provider who takes the monopolistic advantage to set high call rates. Users are forced to accept the burden since they lack cheaper options.

Another issue reported by facing the industry is scammers. Apparently, some companies use the frustration often encountered by families trying to communicate with incarcerated relatives to scam them. The firms usually ask for high account opening rates and service charges. Even after family members struggle to cover the expenses, the companies fail to connect them to their incarcerated relations.

Another case involves dropped calls. When a call goes through, the caller may experience a call drop due to different reasons. In many cases, call drops prevail when one cannot be connected due to incompatibility issues of the communication devices. In such cases, it has been reported that inmate communications service providers do not refund the money charged to the caller.

Inmate communication service providers are profit making entities. Without proper regulations, they tend to charge their clients unfairly. In some cases, they have been reported to make payments to correctional officers to have their contracts renewed.

IC Solutions is a leading provider of inmate communications and inmate management services. The firm offers a broad range of communication services such as video visitation, account set up, and phone calls.

IC Solutions’ services are significantly cheap compared to other inmate communication providers. To improve their user experience, they have a 24-hour customer support center that handles issues on billing, payments, and opening accounts.

Read more:

How a Podcast Helped to Expose the American Prison Phone Racket

In October 2014, an incisive new podcast reminded American audiences that radio journalism is still one of the most compelling mediums for news reporting, investigation and social justice.
Serial is a podcast that was created as a companion to This American Life, the acclaimed public radio program that also ran for two seasons as a series on the Showtime cable television channel. According to PR News Serial has been widely acclaimed for bringing out issues that show deep dysfunction within American institutions in charge of delicate affairs; specifically overzealous criminal prosecutions and the strange approach to under-the-table diplomacy during wartime.

During the first season of Serial, each episode briefly introduced listeners to Global Tel-Link as the provider of prepaid calling services from prison telephones. With about 40 hours of recorded calls made from prison, it is safe to say that Global Tel-Link was instrumental to the production of Serial’s debut season.

Shortly after the final episode of Serial’s first season, a report published by financial news outlet Bloomberg estimated the cost of the prison phone calls used by the Serial production team. At 89 cents per minute and a connection fee of $3.95 per call, Global Tel-Link pocketed around $2,500, although the company did not respond to inquiries by Joshua Brustein of Bloomberg.

Although Serial did not make Global Tel-Link’s exorbitant calling rates a part of their investigation, the company has come under fire by various news reporting outlets and the Federal Communications Commission. As a result, per-minute rate caps went into effect; however according to, Global Tel-Link and other carriers that provided phone services to the imprisoned have retaliated with lawsuits and excessive service fees.

Companies such as Global Tel-Link keep the lucrative prison phone racket going in the United States; perhaps this industry and its players could be the focus of a future Serial production.