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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.