First off, let me tell you about the Keefe Group of companies. The Keefe Group, and their affiliates, are the leading provider of canteen vendors services to city, county and state correctional facilities in the nation. In addition to providing food products through automated vending services they also provide personal care products, electronics, clothing and telecommunications and software solutions to correctional care facilities nationwide.
Now If I’m to believe in what I read on stltoday.com of the rehabilitative process of our correctional facilities, than much, if not most of that responsibility falls on those in charge being held accountable for their actions and those they hire from outside to provide for them.
If that responsibility involves giving contracts to private companies (such as the Keefe Group) then it is their duty to see that those contracts are awarded through a proper bidding and screening process – not simply to those embed themselves within the system.
So when I also see articles that clearly shine the light on corruption between prison officials and an outside private entity, with the intention of purposefully overcharging inmates to pocket the surplus for themselves later…I’m definitely thinking there needs to be something done to bring the hammer down . Not just on those within the system exploiting inmates for personal gain, but also those private companies colluding with them.
So why exactly is it, I wonder, that a petition addressed to Governor Scott in 2013, stated that the FDOC contract was automatically awarded to the Keefe Commissary Network, despite there being several other vendors who bid that would be able to offer a wider variety of items at almost 60% less than the Keefe Group.
One has to wonder…
Even as far back as 2009, a Pennsylvania inmate can be found writing in Under Lock And Key as to the need for the termination of the Keefe Group monopoly. Read full article on prisoncensorship.info.