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Knowing More About The Keefe Group Contracts

I was startled to realize the amount of money that has been made by the Keefe Group through prisoners. It is nearly $40.4 million! And the G T Enterprises has made nearly $3.2 million through prisoners in terms of gross revenue. All this has been through the MDOC inmate services.

It was in 2008 that the Keefe Group contract had started. I was surprised to realize that since then it was renewed a number of times. Its last renewal was in 2011. That will be expiring on August 31, 2015. The contracts had been signed by Chris Epps who was the Commissioner at that time.

These contracts allowed The Keefe Group to processing the deposits of inmates. Besides, they could sell them prepaid debit cards. The Group was allowed to process the trust funds of inmates.

I came to know that the contracts granted an exclusive right to The Keefe Group to sell MP3 music players to inmates. But these were being sold at $115 plus sales tax to the inmates. MDOC was receiving $15 for each player that was sold.

Next was the exclusive right for selling song downloads. Out here the inmate was being charged $1.70 for each song download. MDOC was receiving $0.10 for each song download from this costing.

Another was the exclusive right given to the Keefe Group for selling commissary items. These would include food items, various personal hygiene products, besides tobacco, and such other items. Here, Keefe Group was paying a commission rate. This was 29.4% for any sales that were made in the prisons that were state-operated prisons. It was paying 24% at the state prisons that were privately operated. In addition, The Keefe Group deducted 10% from the total sales amount of all the “visitation bags” that were sold each month at these prisons. Read more about Keefe Group on Blogspot

Cecil McCrory was the owner of G.T. Enterprises. I was told that he later sold this company to the Keefe Group. This was in 2008. At that time, the MDOC contract gave GT Enterprises the right for selling various commissary products. This was for the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

Know more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/prison-services-are-profitable-niche-for-bridgeton-company/article_62560bec-4010-5342-9e11-5d647aecba2a.html

Inmates to Feel the Touch of Tablets in Winnebago County Jail

It’s customary for prisoners to poses only, the necessities required in prison. The basics include jumpsuits, towels, and sandals for those in Winnebago County Jail. But today, according to the jail superintendent Bob Redmond, the future calls for changes. The inmates, therefore, stand the chance of receiving tablets. As a matter of fact, he has already contacted the tablet vendors. The move to issue tablets to the inmates rose after a tender with an inmate telephone service provider; Legacy Inmate Communications got terminated. The tender got terminated after a unanimous vote by the County Public Safety Committee. The terminated tender allowed the company to charge inmates a cost of 55cents for local calls and 21 cents for interstate calls.

 

The revenue generated got shared with the county. However, Legacy Inmate Communications was two months behind schedule in payment. Additionally, Redmond said that the company failed to keep all the phones functional. The company got awarded with the termination letters with a three months’ notice. There was a case where all phones in one pod failed. Therefore, as it is a right for the inmates to make phone calls, more guards got requested to escort the prisoners to different sections with working phones.

 

According to Redmond, trouble arises when only one phone is working in the pod. Issues occur when inmates take too long on the phone and while others are unable to make calls at specific times. Therefore, bringing wireless tablets ensures the risk to guards gets minimized. However, the tablets employ the prison standards ensuring they are rugged and secure. The tablets exhibit no social media capabilities and cannot access the internet. Inmate calling services are offered by two major companies in the USA. They include Securus Technologies and GTL Technologies who also have had a share of criticism directed to them for exploiting innmates

 

Securus Technologies – connecting inmates to their families

http://www.ibtimes.com/why-prison-phone-rates-keep-going-even-though-fcc-regulated-them-2388200

 

In the fall of 2015 The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) tried to put into act a form of rate caps on the price for incoming calls to inmates. The averaged rate per minute for a family member or loved one to call someone in prison is about a dollar a minute. Prison communications are outsourced to private firms. There are about 2.2 million inmates in America at any given time. Monopoly style contracts that cut deals with local sheriffs offices with little government involvement is what causes these inflated prices. In June of 2016, after a decrease in prices the previous fall, prices were on the rise again. Many family members or loved ones who are trying to call in to speak to inmates are on fixed incomes. The cost of the phone call can end up costing them the same as the cost of gas if they were able to drive in for a visit. Though the Federal communications commission was able to implement a rate cap on calls out of state, they have not implemented one for in state calling. In some cases it may be cheaper for an inmate to call a relative out of state. In state phone calls can be priced at any rate the communications provider and sheriffs deems appropriate. Securus Technologies is currently the largest inmate calling provider in the United States.

 

Keefe Group: Pioneering Service Delivery in Correctional Industry

Following its founding in 1975, Keefe Group embarked on an aggressive campaign aimed at tapping into a market that many companies had not ventured before: the American correctional facilities. It was a blue business strategy geared towards identifying opportunities that exist in the market and creating demand rather than fighting for demand in an already crowded mainstream American market place. The correctional facilities provided the company with a unique business opportunity marked by a stable market and almost zero competition. This niche market enabled the company to grow in revenue, profit margins and most significantly, in stature as one of the largest companies in the United States. Over time, the company adopted a strategic operational approach aimed at customizing their products and services to meet the ever growing demand from their clients.

Company Profile: Meeting Customer Demands Through Customer-Centered Strategies

During its over four decades of operations, Keefe Group has carved a name for itself as a champion of efficiency and customized service delivery within the American prison industry complex. Their customer-centered focus enables the company meet the unique demands of their numerous customers spread across various correctional facilities in the United States. As an industry pioneer, the company pride itself as the leading supplier of personal and beauty care products, clothing, footwear and jewelry for inmates. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the company is also the leading supplier of food products to the correctional facilities with numerous brands of food and snacks to its name. Read more about Keefe Group on cdispatch.com.

By expanding its operations through new subsidiaries and affiliates, Keefe Group managed to add new products and services to its already burgeoning portfolio. The new entities allowed the company to supply other new and unique services such as cable news, games, telecommunication services as well as various technologies to inmates. The company also offers financial management services to its clients

Challenges

As the pioneer in the industry with a strong reputation and history of quality service delivery in a market with few competitors, Keefe Group’s position as the market leader strategically positions it as the leading contender for tenders. However, the company’s almost monopolistic presence in market has been challenged by authorities, individuals and competitors. This has seen some of the tenders it was awarded opened for competitive bidding. Several allegations of poor customer service and corruption have also been leveled against the company. Read more news on Tampa Bay Times.

The Fraudulent Global Tel-Link

Global Tel-Link is a phone company that allows prisoners to communicate with the world. However, its customers complain of hidden fees and rates higher than other companies offer. Some tricks the company uses are 1) letting the phone bill the account before the call is picked up, 2) adding illegal surcharges to phone calls, 3) dropping calls in order to charge a second fee for reconnecting them, and 4) billing one call multiple times. Then, the intrastate calling rates are said to be too high. And GTL is expensive in the first place without all this unfairness. Read more on NYTimes to know more about GTL.

GTL reports that it serves over 2,100 facilities in the 50 states, 27 Department of Correction contracts in more than 800 counties, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Yet it has a history of illegal billing practices nationwide. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have even taken out class actions against GTL. How much longer will the government tolerate the company’s abuses? Watch this video about GTL on youtube.com

If you are using a phone to connect with someone in any of the following Californian jails, know that the servicing company is GTL. The jails are California DOC, Atwater USP, Coalinga Claremont Custody Center, Alameda County Jail, Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, Contra Costa County, El Dorado County, Dublin FCI, Glenn County Sheriff Department, Hayward City Jail, Herlong FCI, Humbolt County, Imperial County, Kern County, Lompoc USP, Los Angeles MDC, Los Angeles County, Lake County Jail, Lake County Juvenile Home, Los Angeles Police Department, Mendota FCI, Marin County Jail, Marin County Probation, Placer County, Orange County, Riverside County Jail, San Benito County, San Bernadino County Juvenile, San Diego MCC, San Francisco County Jail, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention, San Luis Obispo County, Shaffer Community Correctional, Shasta County, Siskiyou County Jail, Solano Probation Juvenile Hall, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Terminal Island FCI, Tehama County Jail, USMC Camp Pendleton Brig, Tulare County, Victorville USP, Yolo County Jail, Yuba County Jail, Ventura County CA-Juvenile Probation, and Ventura County Jail. My information for this article comes from https://cases.theclassactionnews.com/global-tel-link-prison-collect-calls/.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9leDabb7wBI

Keefe Group Gives Inmate Communication a Major Upgrade

The Keefe Group is giving a lot of inmates’ access to things on the inside of the prison. I believe that this company has become quite profitable because it allows inmates to get snacks that would not normally be available in a prison. This is a company that also provides commissary products like clothes and shoes. I believe that the

Keefe Group is the type of company that is going to benefit any prison system because it also brings video visitation into place. Read more news on Tampa Bay Times.

The Keefe Group could become one of the best resources for those prison systems that are trying to implement video visitation. This is the new concept that is making it easier for people to stay connected with family. It also lightens the load of the work staff in the prisons. Less staff is used to monitor the visitation. This is something that is going to help the prison systems cut costs. That is why Keefe Group is gaining a lot of attention with the department of corrections.

Know more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/prison-services-are-profitable-niche-for-bridgeton-company/article_62560bec-4010-5342-9e11-5d647aecba2a.html

The Keefe Group is a company that has been connected to a lot of different products. This company has a lot of other businesses under the Keefe Group umbrella. This is the type of company that provides people with things like jail voice mail and video voicemail. These are the things that have given people on the outside the ability to connect with inmates without going to the prison. This level of convenience that the Keefe Group has used is going to help a lot of people eliminate the travel to the prison.

I have found that more people are interested in using this type of innovation that was created by the Keefe Group. I have used the video voicemail, and i know that this saves me a lot of time. I could not imagine ever driving to a prison on a regular basis when I now have access to the software that was created by the Keefe Group for video visits. This has made staying in touch with family members so much easier. Keefe Group is simplifying inmate communication.

Read more about Keefe Group on prisoncensorship.com.

Knox County Commission Expands The Use Of Tablets For Prisoners

On Monday, the Commission granted permission to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to make another purchase of 900 tablets for the cost of $425 each which will be purchased from the money that they made out of the first 300 tablets that they had bought a few months back. If reports are to be true, the county makes about $15,000 a month through the calls and messages that the inmates and their families make. The inmates are charged 40 cents for each message, $5.99 for half an hour video call and $4.99 for using a tablet for 24 hours.

 

 

Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones was unmoved by the critics on providing tablets to inmates for entertainment. He said that there is no system where the criminals give back something to the tax payers as they are the ones who use the taxpayers’ money to live comfortably in the prisons. He has worked with the department for 36 years, and he had never seen such an excellent opportunity where the criminals are able to pay back something to the taxpayers. According to him, this was the main reason why they chose to buy tablets for the prisoners.

 

 

The prisoners cannot access the internet and social media websites through the tablets. Since the introduction of the tablet, the contact between the jail staff and the inmates has been significantly reduced, that has reduced the chances of injuries. The tablet program was introduced in 2015 and can access special programs such as Intensive Treatment Program and GED program. Inmates can also access educational and religious books. Inmates can schedule haircuts and also seek medical help if needed.

 

 

Jones said that they would never bring anything into the jail to entertain the inmates. He also clarified that making money was not their primary motive, the safety of the inmates and the jail staff was.

 

Inmate Communication Is Beneficial To Inmates And Their Loved Ones

The advanced telecommunication systems in prisons and jails allow for direct communication between inmates and their loved ones. The staff of correctional facilities can monitor and record such conversations. Most telephone systems in these facilities are based on contract where the service providers are required to pay commission to such institutions. After receiving numerous complaints from families of inmates concerning the high charges of phone calls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigated the matter.

In 2014, they started capping inmate phone rates. Families used to pay as high as $18.00 for a 15-minute call. FCC proposed a capping that would make sure that the charges for a 15-minute phone call do not exceed $4. Correctional facilities and other law enforcement groups opposed the new caps. However, the FCC argued that the previous rates were causing undue financial strains to inmates and their loved ones. Some of the telecommunications companies retaliated by increasing their charges on local calls. This information was originally mentioned on Penitentiary Blog as explained in this link http://penitentiaryblog.com/what-you-might-not-know-about-the-inmate-communications-industry/

Advancement in technology has enhanced communication in jails and prisons where inmates can now easily contact anyone through emails, texts and social media. Despite the inmates’ limited accessibility to these forms of communication, there are concerns that these individuals can use such time to plan how to escape from a facility. Other people have argued that even though the conversations are heavily monitored, some inmates can use coded language to communicate. Many inmates might not use the phone too often. This is because of the high charges. However, the expensive inmate call rates are a small price to pay for an inmate planning to escape.

On the good side, inmate communications serves a good purpose. With the freedom to call anyone, an inmate may use such time to talk to those in authority. Richard Tabler, an inmate on death row, contacted Texas Senator, John Whitmire, to complain about how he was being mistreated. Whitmire used his position on the criminal justice team to bring changes to Richard’s stay at the correctional facility. This is a good example of how inmate communication could be used to improve inmates’ lives in prisons and offer them a chance to see the outside world while behind bars. This information was originally reported on Penitentiary Blog as outlined in the following link http://penitentiaryblog.com/inmate-communications-a-valuable-tool-or-a-dangerous-threat/

 

Does Securus have the solution for future Inmate Communications?

With the changing scene of communications in the outside world, it is inevitable that it would also eventually revolutionize inside the prison and inmate community. Securus Technologies CEO and Chairman, Rick Smith claims that their company can set up secure, controlled communications within prison facilities that can use customized devices, or even the inmate’s own devices. This will increase the ability for inmates to communicate with their defense team or family. It will allow for more training and educational opportunities while incarcerated. The devices can be locked so that they are only allowed to communicate with approved individuals or organizations through approved methods, including picture, video, text messaging, and emails.

 

They use a Wireless Containment Solution, or WCS, that controls and monitors all communications from the inmate’s device. Allowing them their own device gives them access to their own contact list and information databases. They can have controlled access to job websites, educational systems, and other web-based opportunities for skill and knowledge growth. Arguably, this would reduce recidivism and promote employment post-incarceration. It also increases their ability to manage their own health care. Law-libraries, visitation rules, forms, and facility rules could literally be at the fingertips of every inmate.

 

Here’s the article where I read this fascinating information:

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/securus-technologies-discusses-future-of-inmate-communications-and-security-300427232.html

 

Global Tel-Link Takes Advantage of People who Need to Talk to Loved Ones

Global Tel-Link is what some people call the AT&T of prisons. These guys have been dominating the industry for years, along with a handful of other companies. I mention AT&T because, like them, Global Tel-Link is in a world of trouble for trying to stiff the American people with their evil ways.

What do I mean by evil ways? Well, I do not know how much of this story has gotten out, but as far as I know, the company has forced unfair rates on people who just want to talk to their loved ones in jail. Think about that; these people might have done something bad, but that does not mean they do not have people who care about them and love them. According to PR News, these people are now being forced to pay a lot of money to communicate with them.

I would understand if the prisoners were forced to pay since they need to be punished, but why are their loved ones punished with high prices? Did they do something wrong? Apparently, Global Tel Link thinks it is okay to charge people up to 89 cents per minute. The ACLU and FCC called the company out and tried to establish a cap, but Global Tel-Link fought them tooth and nail.

It seems like GTL was able to defeat the FCC, which really makes you question how much power we are giving large companies. I know that some people out there trust multi-billionaires more than the government, but I tend to go the other way around. Why would rich people give two-cents about the people? I hope that something happens so that we can stop this inmate communication company from taking advantage of hard working Americans who are related to people who made mistakes. http://mythreecents.com/reviews/global-tel-link