Prison Business Corruption

The corrupt practices of Keefe Food Group

Keefe Food Group is a correctional institution and has been offering its services to prisons in Florida since the year 1975. Keefe Food Group is a subsidiary of Centric Group LLC. They provide correctional products such as instant coffee and a variety of drinks packaged in different ways excluding metal packaging due to security threats. Apparently, the company has been operating as a monopoly and have been reported to engage in corrupt activities. These include the lucrative contracts earned across the state and the entire federal system. The abuses subjected to prisoners and other corrupt activities by this conglomerate are known by many people particularly those who are attached to the system. The awful practices committed by this company under imperialism do not only affect the Prison Industrial Complex but other areas as well. Meaning, by going against the activities of this company or its parent company in the concentration camps can bring about a direct cross-appeal to the people who are fighting Wall Street predators in different markets. Visit The Dispatch to know more about Keefe Group.

Know more: http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2014/11/prisoners-are-money-keefe-404-million-g.html

Citizens in the areas affected were requested to prepare a list of all the commissary prices in prison together with any lawsuit or any documented report of abuse by Keefe Food Group. If the prisoners were able to terminate the ill practices carried out by Keefe Food Group in any of the state systems, details are required to know how termination was achieved. MIM (Prisons) were also requested to provide information about Keefe Group in their county and federal prisons. They gave an account on the same whereby they said that they were ready to collect information about the companies that are benefiting from prisoners’ oppression and Keefe Group is among them. They said that after collecting the information, they intended to launch a battle against these companies. From their findings, this is not an easy task because whatever is happening in this problem is similar to capitalism. Meaning that those who are not oppressed by the way the system is operating have their own financial interests and as long as they are benefiting from this oppression they might never go against it. Unfortunately for the prisoners, the people in the imperialist countries might not be willing to ally with them, and thus they will continue supporting the corrupt system. Read more news on tampabay.com.

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

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.

References:
consumerist.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/us/steep-costs-of-inmate-phone-calls-are-under-scrutiny.html?_r=0

 

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: https://consumerist.com/2014/12/18/long-after-serial-season-is-over-global-tel-link-will-keep-charging-inmates-outrageous-phone-fees/

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 cdispatch.com, 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. http://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/fight-keefe-food-group-corruption/

For more information about the Keefe Group and the services they provide visit their website at http://www.keefegroup.com and their vendor profile on corrections.com.