A task force has been assigned to assemble recommendations for the makeover of the bid process for any outside services offered to the State of Mississippi penal system. This decision was made after the indictment of former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps on charges of federal corruption. Epps, would offer his business partner Cecil McCrory no bid contracts for businesses with his name affiliated. In 2007, Epps offered a no bid contract to McCrory’s direct business G.T. Enterprises, which held this contract for the next seven years, even after Centric Group, Keefe Groups parent company, bought the business.
Keefe Group has been running a monopoly on commissary services across the country for many years. Family members of inmates have sent in complaints to the company about the higher than average price of items bought through Keefe Group. The task force in Mississippi will be making the process of competitive bidding harder for the Keefe Group to obtain a monopoly.
The task force is recommending the following guidelines:
Telmate is a telecommunications company that serves jails and prisons. Just like all of the other prison telecommunications companies, it charges through-the-roof costs for phone calls between detention centers and the outside world. The charges and rates per minute really vary per state and locale. In an article online, the rates per minute and surcharges are shown for a variety of companies. Unfortunately, the prices that Telmate sets are not disclosed. Fortunately, we can get an idea of how much they might charge by looking at the prices that other phone companies charge. For the other phone companies, the surcharge per call can range from $3.95 to $4.99. This is the amount that is automatically charged just for making a call. For the other companies, the rates per minute are set at around $0.89 a minute. Just to upload money to pay phone calls with, people are charged fees. If you want to upload money online, Telmate will charge you $5.00 plus 30.5%. Over the phone, Telmate will charge you about $8.00. If you want your money to be refunded, Telmate will charge you $10.00. In order to hold the money of customers, fees are regularly charged. Telmate charges a monthly fee of $2.95 a month for that purpose. There are a bunch of confusing fees that have official sounding names alluding to government requirements, but are actually unnecessary and seemingly fraudulent.
Securus, another prison telecommunications company accused Telmate of telling lies in order to lure customers away. However, one must be weary when hearing these accusations, because prison telecommunications companies are all at odds with each other. Securus also accused Global tel-Link, another big telecommunications company, of telling lies and attempting to lure away customers. All of these companies are constantly competing against each other and bickering with each other, though to the common man it doesn’t really matter. In the end, all of these companies charge way too much for phone calls. Does it really matter whether the average person goes into debt from one when he or she is going to also go in debt from others?
When it comes to IC Solutions, they love one thing and one thing only: money. That is their drive, and that is what they love more than anything in the entire world. I would venture to say they love money more than they even love their own families, which is pretty sad, if you ask me. However, their actions have not led me to believe otherwise. Their actions have spoken volumes and their actions are some of the worst actions I’ve ever seen from a company in my entire life. Their actions are depressing, sad, and just downright cruel.They are an inmate communications provider, which works as a way for inmates to speak to family, friends, and loved ones while they are in prison. Now, imagine for a second if you had someone you loved behind bars like your brother, father, or sister. It would be very unsettling and hard on you just like I would ponder it is difficult on the person behind bars.
They have to deal with all of these thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For the person that is trying to reach out to the inmate, they are worried sick about them and they want to be there for them in any way they can be, regardless of what they have done. The exception would be rape, murder, or any other unthinkable crime.IC Solutions is getting in the way of one of the most sacred bonds in the world and that is the bond between a parent and a child as pointed out in this. This poor parent has lost almost one hundred dollars in an attempt to speak to their son. They have still not been able to get through to their son behind bars. The reason is simple: IC Solutions-They Show No Love For Anyone
When one is locked-up in a correctional facility one thing they wish for is to get in-touch with the outside world. Essentially, the fundamental aim when an authority decides to jail someone is so that that person can reform and become a useful part of the society in future. The mental growth of a prisoner is important both for him or herself and the nation at large. Telmate LLC is one technology company that has made this possible for the last ten years. The company develops tech products that enable inmates to interact with their folks and to make good use of their time while in the cells. Today, the firm serves over 2.2 million inmates held in jails and prisons across the United States.
For as much as interactions of inmates with the outside world are important, it is not lost to Telmate that the same can be a recipe for criminal activities. Some inmates misuse the privileges accorded to them by making illegal deals over the phones. With this in mind, Telmate designs a calling platform that can be monitored by officials. As a matter of fact, jail officials attest to the fact that Telmate has made their job of collecting intelligence much easier.
Telmate stands out among all of its competitors because of a handful of reasons. To begin with, the company was the first to design a system where inmates leave voice messages to their family and friends. Secondly, Telmate has a system in place where inmates make international calls, including using social apps such as Skype. Thirdly, its call rates are FCC compliant and are inarguably the lowest in the industry. Another key point to note is that the firm’s depositing system is fast, convenient, and reliable. Clients make deposits through several platforms, including online and through mobile applications. Lastly and most importantly, Template is soon going to be the first tech company to introduce phone calls over tablets in correctional facilities.
The Telmate Cares Program
The Telmate Cares Program was started with the aim of giving back to society. Through the program, Telmate invests in uplifting the lives of people living in its immediate neighborhood. The program has volunteered for many community-based programs in Oregon and Idaho.
Money does a lot of things to a lot of people. For some people, it makes them better people and it makes them want to change the world around them. They see that a lot of people are suffering and they want to do something to change that. They want to give back and they want to do something positive. While it is natural that they wish to have some money for themselves and their families, they also know that they can help out others that are in bad situations. They take pride in that. They are not looking to get attention or praise for that. They just know it is the right thing to do and people want to do the right thing. There are good people in the world, even though they can be few and far between.
There are also companies like IC Solutions, the inmate communications provider, which are only interested in their own self-interests. When they created the company, they saw this as a chance to stalk their prey and make money off their situation. The situation is that a lot of inmates are behind bars and they need telephone calls to get them through the process of prison. It helps them keep their head on straight and it helps them once they are out of prison.As noted here, IC Solutions has not made many people happy. They have made a lot of money, but they have made a lot of enemies and there is a total loss of twenty-two thousand dollars between their customers. That is a major issue, and one has to wonder where all of that money is and what is IC Solutions doing with it. Are they out buying new cars and new homes instead of helping people? What is really going on?
Change comes to the society when the pioneers are steadfast enough, to withstand the challenges that they may encounter. The developers of Telmate understand the risks that exist in correctional facilities for both the inmates and staff members. Telmate is a technological innovation that aims at improving the levels of security, and at the same time improve the conditions of the prisons by improving the manner in which inmates associate with the society. The main idea is to make convicts stay in touch with the outside world. This approach has proved to make them less offensive while they are in prison, and even when they get out into the society.
Telmate connects the outside world to those who have loved ones locked up in prisons. It avails inmates with suitable content that can help them to adopt the change, rather than remaining repulsive to the transformation that is happening in the society. Additionally, when inmates have access to information, they end up adopting change more easily. At the moment, the population of the correctional facilities has risen to about 2.2 million all over the world. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility as a society to ensure that the errant persons are ready to change their behavior.
Telmate avails many ways through which one can connect to their families and friends. One of the means is through the use of phone calls. The first option is to create an account, which allows one to receive the phone calls from the inmates. The second option is by waiting until when a convict places the first phone call from the correctional facility, and then, one can deposit funds into the account when an operator prompts them to pick the call.
However, the fastest and easiest way is by initially setting up an account on a website known as gettigout.com. Telmate is very diverse as it allows the inmate to make calls to any person such as family members and friends. However, all that is required is to ensure that the Telmate account that allows the inmate to call a particular person is sufficiently funded. Additionally, for each option, the specific numbers that can be dialed by the detainee, should be added to the Telmate account.
Telmate is a technology company that provides solutions to the corrections industry. It is based in Idaho and is used in thousands of facilities across the country. Telmate has received poor reviews from clients because of their customer service. One customer said that she failed to get phone calls from her husband and her son even after she paid for the service. She said that she is still prevented from calling them after adding her contacts and money to their accounts because of an authorization error. The system directs her to upload her ID, and this starts the process all over again.
The general response from many customers is that the website is confusing to navigate. Customers are recommended to set up everything over the phone. This enables one to be able to talk with a representative at the company in real time to ensure that there are no issues. Depositing over the phone is considerably better because one is not charged a service fee. Telmate has been called out for their discriminative terms that are very harsh. One of the biggest complaints from customers about their terms of service is the conditions of a three-way call. One customer complained about how they had been charged $25 by the Department of Correction for making a three-way call. The woman was speaking to her daughter. An employee of the DOC flagged it as a three way.
The company has made many changes in the past. The changes have raised the costs of using their services. Telmate hiked the cost of making a local phone call by 300%. This has been taken as a flimsy way of making more profits by extorting customers. A lady who identified herself as Andrea K said that she had made a loss of $180 using Telmate’s services. She loaded money into her husband’s account, but he was unable to call her. The support staff gave her several excuses as to why she was unable to reach her husband. There is a time that she was told that her card number was invalid. She was told that she had entered the card number multiple times the next time.
Telmate told the customer that her card was the issue even though she had used it in other places. She noted that the company still tried to charge her despite the fact that she was unable to talk to her husband. She was charged for a 3-way phone call yet she had not made such a call. Telmate told her that they monitored all the devices in the house to make sure that no other person was listening to the call. She questioned this because it was infringing on her privacy.
Telmate Communications is regarded as one of the leading companies in the field of inmate communications. The company started operations in the year 1998 under the name Pinnacle Public Services as an ancillary firm for other major inmate communications service providers. However, in due course, the management realized that there is a significant void in the sector for a comprehensive service provider that offers advanced technological solutions in the inmate communications and criminal justice field.
However, the company even after starting off well in the first few years have become a negative talking point in the inmate communication industry as of now. It is mostly because the company has not been able to keep pace with other enterprises in the field who are providing far better technology and services at much cheaper rates. The customers who are using the Telmate Communications services are thinking of switching to other providers, and considerable size of the customer base of the company has already made the switch. The complaints against the company are increasing with every passing day, and more and more people are raising their voices and concerns regarding how they believe the company has exploited them.
One of the common problems that most of the customers are facing is the long waits when calling the customer service, and not getting the refunds as promised. When the customers provide valid reason and evidence that ensures they should get their refunds, the customer service does mention that it would be paid for a few days or a week’s time, but the refunds never come. The customers are not able to make calls from their fully credited phones, and every time an inmate tries to call, the IVR asks to put in more money. The customer service of Telmate Communications has become highly irresponsive, and many customers have even reported that the customer service representatives of the company were rude with them.
Many customers have filed legal complaints against the company, who continues to make millions of dollars in profits by exploiting its customer base. I sincerely hope the company takes notes of the many grievances that are posted online so that the customers can talk to their loved ones without hassles.
The Serial podcast, see consumerist.com 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 ACLU.org today and see what you can do to help.
Securus Technologies is a firm based in Dallas Texas which specializes in technology solutions for the civil and criminal justice system. These technologies are based around investigation, public safety as well as corrections and monitoring. They currently provide services to over 3450 correction agencies, law enforcement and public safety offices. A total of 1.2 million inmates are served by Securus Technologies across North America. Their motto is to make the world a safer place to live in by providing the industry with the best possible incident management, emergency response, investigation, public information, communication, biometric analysis, inmate self service, information management and monitoring products and additional services.
Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies Richard A. Smith told reporters at PRNewswire.com that they were in discussions with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department over an incident of criminal activity in the inmate communications industry. A competitor of Securus Technologies was believed to have been involved in bribing government officials, bid rigging, overcharging family and friends of inmates during phone calls, theft of confidential information and misrepresentation when acquiring government contracts.
Securus Technologies holds itself to the highest of standards when it comes to integrity. In 2012 they issued a Customer Integrity Pledge which shared their business practices and the kind of standard that they uphold with their customers. Richard A. Smith said in a statement that he believes that there is no place for this kind of activity within the inmate communications industry. The Securus firm will be releasing further information they have regarding the criminal activity in several press releases. These will be issued over the next 90 days. Mr. Smith believes that the individuals will be brought to justice and things restored very soon.