Keefe Group has been serving the prison industry since 1975 through its various affiliates by supplying personal hygiene products, clothing, and electronics. The company is also responsible for providing telecommunication and inmate communication solutions across the US. From footwear to computer software to jail management systems, the correctional industry has a myriad of needs and the Keefe Group has effectively capitalized on that. With affiliates such as Keefe Commissary Network, Advanced Technologies Group, and Keefe Supply Company, the group has maintained a monopoly for quite some time.
Over its years of operations, the Keefe Group has come under scrutiny with various allegations coming up. The most notable is the corruption scandal that involved Ex-Commissioner, Chris Epps and Cecil McCrory. Charges were brought against these two when it was discovered that the then-commissioner was directing contracts towards McCrory’s G.T Enterprises. The connection here is that Centric Group, the parent company of the Keefe Group, acquired G.T Enterprises. There have been other corruption allegations since then, but the Keefe Group has never faced charges.
Some prisoners and their relatives have complained about the high prices of products and the domination of the Keefe Group. As much as commissary services are necessary for the smooth-running of prison facilities, I believe that there should be a way for the system to work with private contractors without burdening inmates and their families. One recommendation of improving the situation that I agree with is to have competitive bids for contracts that exceed $100,000.
The Keefe Group performance is not without upsides that have benefited the prison system, though. One notable achievement is its packaging services that have allowed inmates to get food supplies that no longer come in hazardous metal cans. Keefe Group also has exclusive rights to sell song downloads, music players, prepaid debit cards, and process inmate deposits. For more information about Keefe Group, visit corrections.com to have a company overview and read the news article on cdispatch.com.