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.
I’m a firm believer that when it comes to the world, everyone should be working together and working as one. When that happens, the world is a much better place for everyone involved. However, when people go outside of the system, there are real issues and real concerns to be worried about, as there are people with motives of their own. That is IC Solutions, the inmate communications company. They only have their own self interests in mind. Even though people are paying them for a service, as pointed out on pissedconsumer.com, they are not providing that service. They are simply ripping people off left and right.
They have made a pretty good living ripping people and there is no end in sight. I ask myself who are these people? Why are they doing it? What fuels them? I then remind myself that, like most things in life, it is all about money. Money can cause people to do some crazy things and it can cause people to act in ways they normally would not. That does not justify what they are doing, but it is the reality of how they are acting. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
This is the just one link of many in regards to IC Solutions, as they are the type of company that does not care about their bad reputation, as the song goes. They enjoy it, I tend to believe. They read about it, and they know that there is little to nothing that anyone can do about it in this type of situation. That makes me sad, to be honest. It should not be this bad and it should not reach these levels. There has to be a way to compromise, but how do you compromise with someone that is not willing to?
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.
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.
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.
Communication is a vital tool in running our everyday life. Individuals in jails and prisons had a difficult time communicating with their friends and loved ones. Pay Tel Communication Company noticed the gap and established the firm to provide communication service to correctional institutions. Over the years technology has been growing new, and the communication industry has not been left behind. Pay Tel communication has also been going with the trend, and it no longer relies on yesterday’s technology nor does it use it to use the out-dated patent that does not exist in the current market.
Pay Tel has since its inception been expanding new and inventive solutions for the future of telecommunication industry and the future needs of correction facilities. Pay Tel is responsible and is dedicated to delivering the best services to inmates and the correctional institutions. Pay Tel provides; practical effective features has a dedicated team of developers, gives updates after every six months with no charges, and gives training for new web features.
Pay Tel Communication Company was established in 1986 and started operating the same year. It has been providing payphone services in the Southeastern United States. In 1989 Pay Tel noticed the communication gap that was in correctional facilities and the firm introduced inmate telephone services. Over time it grew and became a dominant telecommunication company that offered the services In the Southeast of U.S.
Pay Tel has experienced tremendous growth since it was founded, and its dedicated staff members endeavors to deliver unremitting innovations through their platforms which are known to offer faultless incorporation using the industries most investigative tools. Their primary mission is to provide ground-breaking solutions to the detention industry. Everyday they are committed to serving and give the best services to their clients dwelling on their company’s motto; promises gets customers performance keeps them. /www.paytel.com/about-paytel/business-ethics.
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
Come on, Pennsylvania corrections facility….you can do better than that! Yes, they are human…as are we all. Yet in a major article released online just earlier this year, which by the way was entitled Pa. Corrections properly recording violence, but could do better: audit, it is obvious that more can be done here. The prison inmate industry is a very serious one, in which a slight tad slip up could cost lives and more.
Have a look. The article puts it in very plain terms. The case in point here is very obvious and easy to pick up, so to speak:
“While the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is properly recording reported inmate violence, the state’s chief watchdog said it must evaluate resources to prevent assaults and fights. On Thursday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released findings of a 15-month audit regarding how reports….” (http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/10/pa_corrections_properly_record.html, page 1 of paragraphs 1 and 2)
The stated goal and plan of the corrections secretary employee involved here has been to make inmates far less likely (in any ways possible, by any means achievable) to commit any sort of crime as they are released from the very prison systems. To do so may be quite a success and a challenge together. Yet, he believes that it can and must be done asap.
There are noted flaws within the used system of reporting. This, of course, affects auditors involved. As a result, the auditors can not quite see if all of the cases have been reported and acted upon…..which poses a serious problem, as you can imagine. They have some crimes in their record books; there may be more.
Not too long ago prisons and jails across the country had the freedom to set rates on phone calls and other communication between inmates and the outside world. Some claimed this to be an egregious attack on typically financially poorer families who were unable to visit their incarcerated loved ones.
The FCC, or Federal Communication Commission began to investigate the claims raised by those families affected by the increasingly hiked rates governed by federal prisons and jails. The FCC found the inmates typically could only make collect calls, which meant their families or loved ones had to cover the costs. Since the prisons were left unchecked on who they used as a carrier, this left those footing the bill with a very hefty bill.
In August of 2016, the FCC made their most recent action in a step to limit the rise of inmate calls. They set a rate cap on inmate calls that should substantially decrease how much those calls cost.
Communication companies such as Securus Technologies and Legacy Inmate Communication have stated that they feel the FCC has overstepped its bounds and limited the free market. Those companies will feel the impact levied by the FCC. Their response has been vocally pointed toward history that the FCC has never intervened in communication processes such as this, and in this case, the FCC does not have the authority to intervene.
With the new rate cap set in August of 2016, inmates can expect to see more reasonable costs associated when calling friends and families. With the rate cap enacted, phone calls can be made without exceeding the cap. With the oversight of the FCC toward federal communications, local states still have the right to oversee intrastate calls. Though the FCC has made a step in the right direction, not all inmates will be immune to high priced calls.
Poor Inmate communications have been an ongoing debate for most correction centers. Effective communication is vital not only for inmates but also the families affected and the officers. Monitoring communications is one way of controlling and reducing crime rates in the correction facilities. It is, therefore, important that facilities have exclusive control of the incoming and outgoing calls, both video call visits and audio records. Every government plays a significant role in ensuring that family and friends enjoy a range of inmate communication options.
Most recently, the United States Patent Office announced an additional five patent grant to Securus Technologies. These new patents are supposed to help in operation from August 2016 to October 2016. Securus Technologies is a leading company in providing criminal and civil justice technology resolutions. For the past three years, Securus has filed for almost 90 new Patents with 36 of the total being granted. The addition of these new five is a big win for this company in its endeavors of trying to create effective inmate communication. Most of the operations that are guaranteed include video calling, audio calling, inmate billing, voice biometrics, inmate monitoring among many others.
Richard A. Smith, CEO of Securus Technologies, assured effective strategies in enabling that all clients are satisfied. With a company that has more than 248 patents in its portfolio, effective correction communications and operations is a top priority. In the recent release, the government demonstrated its concern to tighten the security in correction centers and promised to corporate with leading communication security providers such as Securus technologies. The recently issued grant was just a beginning of the expected long-term corporation.