I know how hard it is to have someone you know go to jail. A good friend of mine when to jail when we were still in college; I have lost contact with her because of the insanely high prices of phone calls from jail. I cannot believe how much they charge. However, I have to wonder if this is for a good cause. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.
Lately, Global Tel Link – one of the biggest providers of telephone services to the inmate community – has decided to fight the FCC on a new ruling. The FCC has ruled that they will impose caps on the rate that companies can charge inmates on the calls they make to other states and internationally.
Global Tel Link is concerned – as am I – that this will leave inmates without adequate telephone service. While I’m also concerned about price, I know that good technology takes a while to come to a good price for everyone; I mean, look at the iPhones and cell phone coverage in general. It still costs an arm and a leg. Prison calls cost two arms and a leg if you want quality calls for a long time. Watch this video on youtube.com
The biggest concern I have is shared with Global Tel Link. They worry that the caps will prevent prisoners from getting quality service. Many could be left without any service at all in their prison system. Why should our prisoners be deprived of phone calls for a low price? Shouldn’t some money go to subsidizing that cost for them? Or are we still considering our prisoners to be lesser than the rest of society?
Hundreds of thousands of families are all too familiar with Global Tel Link and not for good reasons. The private phone company is charging as much as 89 cents per minute for families of the incarcerated to talk to their loved ones. On top of the extremely outrageous price per minute, there is a $3.95 per-call charge tacked onto that. For a much cheaper price, you could get a monthly plan through Verizon that would include unlimited voice calls and text messages as well as 1 gigabyte of data service.
Prisons normally sign contracts with certain phone carriers and instead of being competitive, Tahy offer the prisons a generous portion of the money that they receive from the inmates’ phone call bills. Some carriers go as far as to pay up to 96 percent of their call revenue.
People are getting fed up and are trying to get the FCC to step in and regulates and although slow, the ball is rolling. New York has stopped accepting commissions from phone companies in 2207 which has caused a severe drop in the price of calls. It has cost New York $20 million annually but it has also kept inmates more docile and has also reduced the black market cell phone trade. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.
Three of the major providers have submitted a proposal to the FCC that would involve reduced commissions and will put new restrictions on the fees charged for payment processing. The prison telecoms have grown tired of having to compete with one another and having to outbid each other and have gotten themselves into something that they are now ready to get out of. The prison telecoms are ready for a big change and the FCC id going to have to step in and fix things. You can read the full story here. Read more on PRNewsWire.com.
Global-Tel Link definitely gets my vote when it comes to enhancements in the technology that is found in prison systems. I have no doubt that people are going to be utilizing the software that has been created by Global-Tel Link to communicate with inmates that are locked away. I just think that this is the wave of the future because we are already seeing this type of technology on our tablets and our Smartphone. I was certain that it would only be a matter of time before a company like Global Tel-Link would come forth with a video visitation solution that would also upgrade the prison technology.
It would only be a matter of time before this step in the upgrade of the prison technology would be put in place. I knew that this would become something that prisons would move towards because there has been so much contraband brought into the prison system from outsiders. Sometimes even the best correctional officers will not be able to pat down and find everything that a visitor may be trying to sneak into a prison to an inmate. I think that the Global Tel Link video visitation concept is going to be extremely popular in any prison system where contraband has been found. When inmates are visiting through a video session there is no possibility of any contraband being brought into the prison? That is why I think that administrators of prisons need this.
Some people may wonder if it is going to be any good for inmates to have access to a private window of video visitation, but this is not private. Correctional officers get the chance to terminate any sessions that may be viewed as inappropriate for the video visit. I think that this is definitely something that is needed because all communication that inmates have with the outside world would definitely need to be monitored. Visit Bloomberg to know more about GTL.
Global-Tel Link provides the possibility for this to be done, and I think that more prisons are going to move towards this. It provides an increased level of prison security.
I discovered Global-Tel Link was not the only company that does this video visitation, but I believe that it is definitely one of the better companies for this type of communication because thousands of prisons are already implementing this. It is the type of company that has stayed innovative through the years. This company has become a leader because the software is easy to use and it is reliable. Global-Tel Link has been bringing innovation to the Department of Corrections for decades, and I think that this type of track record deserves recognition. I believe that people our loyalty because this company provides quality products. Know more at consumeraffairs.com.
Until last fall, families in the US have had to pay as much as $1 per minute to talk to their loved ones in prison. Seeing this rate as unjust, the Federal Communications Commission stepped in to regulate much of the prison calling industry. But despite this action, families were surprised to notice this June that their call rates have actually gone up since.
Before the FCC began regulating private prison calling firms, the high price of $1 a minute was largely due to monopoly contracts, revenue-sharing deals with local sheriffs, and little oversight. When the decision was made to lower these rates, rate caps were placed on interstate calls only. So in order to compensate for this loss in revenue, private firms like Securus Technologies raised their in-state calls by as much as 52%. For an example, at a jail in Holdenville Colorado, the price for a call went up from $4.03 to $5.75 in only 24 hours.
This change caused much disparity for the families of prisoners, many of which struggle to manage their own finances. Take 63-year-old Connie Pratt for an example. Her son is incarcerated in North California and suffers from severe anxiety. Connie’s regular calls with him help his mental health, but she’s worried that she might not be able to keep them up since, for the calls, she nows spends $200 a month of her $900 monthly disability check she receives as her only source of income.
Inmate advocacy groups have complained about this issue but have only been met with corporate reasonings like this one from Securus Technologies’ CEO Rick Smith: “the lower rates that were highly publicized never went into effect because the FCC failed to do their job and tried to set rates below our cost”.
Original Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/why-prison-phone-rates-keep-going-even-though-fcc-regulated-them-2388200