Prison News

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

 

COMMUNICATION ENDS FOR 1997 PRISONER.

It appears that a convicted 1997 murderer has finally been executed just a few days ago. Hit the jump for more. (http://www.jacksonprogress-argus.com/news/local/georgia-inmate-executed-for-police-officer-killing/article_c4ef04c1-de3c-5b2e-a232-e66764e3d303.html)

According to this online news piece, the state prison outside of Jackson has successfully, recently, and fully executed a Mr. Gregory Paul Lawler….who was sixty three years old.

 

We can see that:

“Lawler was convicted in 2000 of the murder of Atlanta Police Officer John Sowa. Lawler fired on both Sowa and his partner, Officer Patricia Cocciolone, as the officers escorted Lawler’s girlfriend home after a night of drinking. Lawler was convicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder….” (pg. 1, paragraph 1)

There truly is, as they say, no rest for the wicked. Yet who are we to judge in the end? It is not in our hands…..but both fate and time do tell all, and reveal the worst or best in a person.

 

The UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT has fully summarized the case, and has like wise analyzed the fact that the crime took place in Atlanta, Georgia….and near an apartment there, to be exact. It makes sense. Mr. Lawler was himself from this respected city.

 

Lawler took over a dozen shots out of his gun. There was a six hour standoff with Lawler and the police. A hostage negotiator was successful in getting Lawler to back down and surrender himself, making something which could have been far worse….far better and more easy to deal with. Justice was found, but the waiting and processing time would not be so quick. As we can see from this specific case, many details were involved…and Lawler remained in prison until his ultimate death.

 

Do inmates have a right to cheap phone calls?

The widespread availability of phone services for prison inmates across the country has some groups asking if inmates have a right to a reasonable phone rate. With typically few opportunities to produce any income while incarcerated, inmates often turn to their families to top up their commissary and calling card accounts in order to stay in touch with them. Critics of the current system point to this as being a highly regressive tax on the families of inmates. These innocent family members end up footing the sometimes exorbitant bill just so that they can maintain some semblance of a normal relationship with their incarcerated loved ones.

 

It’s easy to empathize with the families’ plight. If a family with children, living below the poverty line, ends up paying hundreds of dollars per month for the ability to keep the children’s father in their lives, then they are often faced with the decision between paying the cable or utility bill and maintaining contact with their loved one. Regardless of any abstract moral arguments, this is the cold reality that many families face.

 

 

The courts respond

 

Unfortunately for these families, the courts have ruled again and again that inmates have no right to place phone calls from prison. In fact, inmates have no right to even see their families, in any capacity. This reflects the hard realities of prison life. If you’ve earned your stay at a state prison, you’ve done something monumentally contrary to the interests of society.

 

 

Despite critics, system of legal calling kickbacks has merits

Prisoners’ rights groups have complained, at one time or another, about just about every aspect of the U.S. prison system. Wardens, administrators and sheriffs walk a fine line between running orderly, safe institutions and maintaining the fundamental rights of prisoners. But the truth is that those who manage prisons, often elected officials, serve the local residents of their communities first and prisoners and their families a distant second. While many of the critics of U.S. prisons and jails voice their concerns loudly, polls consistently show that a large, silent majority of U.S. citizens value law and order above just about any other concern and want to keep the prison system operating more or less how it traditionally has.

 

 

Inmate calling, price gouging or valuable privilege?

 

One case in point is the contentious issue of inmate calling in prisons and jails. For example, in the state of Louisiana, the state itself takes 71 percent of all revenues generated from inmate calling. The parish jails take between 34 and 87 percent. This has the predictable consequence of raising the rates that inmates pay.

 

Yet the average cost of a phone call in that state is still only about $.15 per minute, a rate comparable with long distance charges on the outside. These rates are historically low by comparison. But another aspect of this debate is that the U.S. courts have ruled again and again that inmates have no right to make phone calls. Thus inmate telephone use itself is best viewed as a privilege, not some form of human right subject to violation.

 

 

Communicating With Prisoners Is Very Expensive

Prison inmates have the same basic needs as those on the outside. They require food, shelter, medical attention and a way to communicate. Their daily lives are governed by the authorities of the facilities they reside in. The common advantages of life are rationed out to those who are incarcerated. These privileges become very valuable because of the marginal access. Communicating with the outside world is one of the most cherished items that an inmate has. They need this privilege for various reasons. Some are working on their legal situation. They may have recently arrived to jail and want to get out as soon as they can. Others are in for a long stay. They use prison communication as a means to remain in contact with loved ones on the outside. It keeps up their morale and reminds them of why they never want to be in the same situation again. Inmate communication companies have taken full advantage of the opportunity to provide these rare services to prison inmates. They charge a healthy price for their product. They are in a unique situation because their clients do not have the ability to select competition. This means that the service providers are able to set the price for the products at any rate they choose.
Inmate communication providers offer several different plans to their customers. The most common plan is direct debit. Consumers are able to set up an account with the service provider. Charges are deducted from their account as usage builds up. It is a very expensive program. The rates are astronomical compared to regular phone service.
Monthly plans are also available. Lawyers and bail bondsman prefer this method. They conduct regular business with people on the inside. A plan such as this saves them tremendous amounts of money.

Legacy Icon offers new inmate communications console

Prison administrators looking for new video visitation options for inmates that comes with all of the technical bells and whistles they need should consider consider using the Legacy Icon inmate communications platform. According to Correctional News, Legacy Icon developed a platform that further improves video visitation security and lets prison officials track the income the prison receives from commissions. The new platform allows for video visitation services, according to Correctional News.
The Legacy Icon platform has recording features that are comparable to its competitors. Legacy’s system allows the correctional institution to record inmate visitations to scan for illegal activity, and it includes other features that help reduce fraud. As with all video visitation systems, it will reduce staff and administrative overhead.

The Legacy Icon software system comes with software accounting tools that allow prison administrative officials to keep track of the commissions they receive from the system. Legacy gives prisons competitive commission rates, and offers the families of inmates reasonable prices for their services.

Legacy’s Icon system may require revamping older communications systems. The service also offers Voice over Internet Protocol services. Older correctional facilities may need to upgrade their plain old telephone service before upgrading to the video visitation systems. The inmate communications company also offers video arraignment services for jails and courtrooms.

Source:

Inmate Communications Platform