The Unholy Alliance: Prison Telephone Services
Prison Telephone Services
Global Tel*Link is one of the major players in the $1.2 billion business of providing phone service to private and government prisons, according to Bloomberg. The Mobile, Alabama-based company has about half of the correctional phone services market and Securus Technologies has about 30%. Both companies make excessive profits with exclusive contracts with prisons. The major prison telephone companies and the prisons have a de facto partnership. As part of the contract, the prison receives commissions from the exorbitant charges paid by inmates and their families.
At the Contra Costa West County Detention Facility in Richmond, California, detained immigrants pay about $20.00 for a fifteen minute telephone call. Phone Justice for Immigrants in Detention reported that Global Tel*Link pays Contra Costa County a commission of up to 57% on phone calls, in addition to a $75,000 bonus for awarding the exclusive contract. The county received $653,506 in commissions from Global from 2011 – 2012.
PrisonPath.com posted about the unsavory practices of the prison telephone companies in previous articles such as “Predatory Prison Telephone Companies-Updated” and in “A Victory Against Predatory Telephone Rates.”
It is time to bring this unholy alliance to an end. Telephone communications between the families and their loved ones who are incarcerated should be a top priority for any correctional system. It is recognized that strong family ties contribute to an inmate’s successful reentry. Lower telephone rates contribute to a lower recidivism rate.
By Alistair–Looks like the telephone providers should be in prison for extortion…
By Roland–Bradley, Thanks
This is an indictment and must be overhauled ASAP
By Bradley–I agree. Two companies should not have 80% of the contracts. Monopolies lead to unfair prices.
By Ron–Robert, what is a ‘reasonable price’? Consider that the inmate has little opportunity to legally obtain the funds to pay for these services, that particular responsibility then falls on the families who have often lost their primary income earner. This encourages criminal behaviour in the community and family members of the inmates.
Robert– Prisoner calls help maintain them in contact with the outside world making reintergration easier . It is a management tool . By isolating prisoner from there families and friends they become more reliant on less desirable persons in the prison systems which compounds the existing problem. I believe that desirable behavior should be rewarded with phone time for a reasonable price.
By Thami–I am agree with that issue that Inmates must not have cellphone because can be use for criminal activities and for Gang activities
By Robert–In the prison I work prisoner have 6 levels of pay . level 6 is nil per day for those in punishment . level 5 is 3 dollars / day for those looking for work level 4 is $4.5 those doing courses or those working 1or 2 hrs/day level 3 is $5.5 day full time education / basic work ie picking up papers level 2 is six day jobs operating machinery , jobs with some responsiblity. level 1 is seven $ /day high responsibility ie cleaning med center peer support. money sent in by families is limited to promote… Read more »