The Federal Communication Commission has for years tried to control the prices of the often out of control costs of the Inmate Calling Services Industry. In 2015, the FCC paced rate caps on all inmate in state and out of state calls. This was a move that infuriated a lot of both communications providers and prisons being provided the services. Loudest of the voices in protest was communications giant, Global Tel-Link. They say that this kind of rash decision by the commission actually just puts into jeopardy a much-needed service.
They say that if the cuts don’t mean the complete end to the services, at best they will mean a much lower quality of those services. GTL has in the recent past made a name for itself by providing cutting edge technologies at the absolute minimum of prices. They have also earned a good reputation as a company that works with its customers to the end of low prices. FCC’s crusade to cap prices may end all of that. GTL says they were working closely with FCC to reach a satisfactory pricing police by the institution jumped the gun and made some very unwise pricing-related decisions.
GTL is the leader in the communications industry in the areas of correctional technology, education, and government payment services. They are especially committed to their inmate communications, providing such services for 82% of the country’s prisoners. This includes 32 state departments of corrections, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. GTL maintains a headquarters in Reston, Virginia and many offices throughout the country. It was honored to be the world’s first web-based inmate telephone company.
It is today considered so good by the prison facility world that it is usually the first company consulted when a facility begins implementing a new form of technology. Although it has a good standing as the top in its industry, it is still pushing forward and upward and appears not to be slowing down in this progression.
During this past year, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s candidacy. As a result, through the mouths, protests and keyboards of social justice warriors, as well as the media, certain topics and opinions have been discussed. The problems of racism, sexism and intolerance towards LGBTQ people have been addressed. Discussions have been made, and the law and how society operates has been affected by these discussions. There have been some pretty reasonable discussions about intolerance and discrimination. However, many liberal discussions have been more one-sided, draconian and discriminatory in their own way. Other discussions are just very vague and opinionated, and really veer more on the side of complaining. Now it is at a point where people are just bickering with each other, and stirring up hatred. People on both sides of the political spectrum are treating their petty, one sided opinions like things that are really serious. What is the solution to all of these petty arguments? There is no solution! Everybody is right and everybody is wrong.
Instead of chasing their tails, why don’t people focus on more clear-cut issues, instead of getting complainant and violent over philosophical issues that there can never be solutions to? If you don’t understand how ridiculous it is, imagine people fighting over the answer to whether a tree makes a sound when it falls in a forest with no one around. “It does make a sound!” one says. “No, it doesn’t make a sound!” the other one says. “It does! I don’t like your opinion so I am just going to spray pepper spray in your face, right now!” That is how crazy things are.
A more clear cut issue that should be focused on is how Global Tel Link, as well as politicians, jails, corporations and politicians, are maneuvering the system to get more profits, at the cost of inmates and their families. Phone calls to detention centers cost so much money. If you don’t understand how bad it is, just imagine going through Global Tel-Link to make a phone call, and having to pay $17 for a 15 minute phone call, plus extra flat fees.
Prisons are meant to reform people not to churn out hardcore criminals or repeat offenders. The idea of reforming inmates and make sure that they do not go back to the life of crime after they have been released out of prison is the key goal of Telmate.
Through innovative technologies, the security and control of inmates is enhanced as well as keeping both the inmates and the communities outside safe.
Telmate has interests of all the stakeholders at heart. The inmate’s communication with the outside world is greatly encouraged, and access to content that is beneficial to them is granted. The staff at the correctional facilities are supported through various programs like Telmate Cares, Telmate Heroes, and Telmate Fallen Heroes.
Also in connecting the inmates with the outside world, Telmate has a getting out service through which you can have access to various types of phone calls.
Sending money to your loved ones has never been easier using getting out which is powered by Telmate. You can send money to the inmates in which they are free to spend at will or you can restrict them in providing only a specified phone number that they can make a call to. This comes in handy when you want to limit the spending of a loved one while in prison. It makes him or her responsible which would be useful when he has served his sentence.
Telmate has also been wonderful in making sure inmates do not miss important dates like birthdays, weddings and other ceremonies through video chats. Normally, physical visits to correctional facilities always have a limited time and a limited number of people who can pay a visit at a time but through video calls, Telmate makes sure that you can always see your loved one at the click of a button.
You can also set up a video visit through your computer. When your loved one confirms your request for a video visit, then you can log in and talk to them in the comfort of your home. This does not only save money, but it also makes the inmates experience the home atmosphere through the video chat something that would not have been possible through a physical visit to the correctional facility.
An Alabama woman is having serious difficulties with Global Tel Link. She has been dealing with the company for eighteen months so she can talk to an inmate in prison. The representatives of the company have put her down and preached to her and she has been placed on hold for as long as two hours. She finally spoke to a representative who gave her a number for the office in Alabama only to discover it was an automated waiting system. Learn more about GTL on action.aclu.org
She has been forced to pay fees for overages she does not believe existed. She keeps a log of all her calls and the length of time she was on the phone. Global Tel Link simply tells her she is wrong and will not review her log. At one point in time she was blocked for an excessively high volume of calls. She is always told she is the one at fault. She feels Global Tel Link is a scammer and a joke and that they know exactly what they are doing. She believes their customers are entitled to a handbook with their rules because all of the representatives tell her something different. Watch this video on youtube.com
She has been told to call the Alabama office numerous times but says all she gets is an incredibly nasty attitude from their supervisors. She even had a woman who started preaching to her about God and told her she would be punished for not following the regulations in her life. The speech she gave to the representative was priceless and she should receive an award. She believes either action is required against Global Tel Link or she should be given the right to use a different company. She has been charged for calls that never went through, insulted and ripped off. Her hands are also tied because there is no other company authorized for inmate calls at her loved ones institution.
I know how hard it is to have someone you know go to jail. A good friend of mine when to jail when we were still in college; I have lost contact with her because of the insanely high prices of phone calls from jail. I cannot believe how much they charge. However, I have to wonder if this is for a good cause. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.
Lately, Global Tel Link – one of the biggest providers of telephone services to the inmate community – has decided to fight the FCC on a new ruling. The FCC has ruled that they will impose caps on the rate that companies can charge inmates on the calls they make to other states and internationally.
Global Tel Link is concerned – as am I – that this will leave inmates without adequate telephone service. While I’m also concerned about price, I know that good technology takes a while to come to a good price for everyone; I mean, look at the iPhones and cell phone coverage in general. It still costs an arm and a leg. Prison calls cost two arms and a leg if you want quality calls for a long time. Watch this video on youtube.com
The biggest concern I have is shared with Global Tel Link. They worry that the caps will prevent prisoners from getting quality service. Many could be left without any service at all in their prison system. Why should our prisoners be deprived of phone calls for a low price? Shouldn’t some money go to subsidizing that cost for them? Or are we still considering our prisoners to be lesser than the rest of society?