When looking for interesting topics, one topic in particular is something that not many people think about. This topic concerns the communication of inmates and loved ones while sentenced to months or years of imprisonment. One example to look at in particular is the case of Anthony Kofalt who was recently arrested due to the fact that he stole various Crest Whitening Strips from a local Walmart. Though Mr. Kofalt was convicted of his crimes, it is also showed that his wife is suffering from the actions of her husband. Now that her husband is in prison, she has reported that she pays over $60 a week for an hour long phone call that takes place from the outside world and the prison. This outrageous cost is due to the fact that prison communication services are charging more money than ever for inmates or loved ones to call communication with each other.
The prison where Mr. Kofalt is currently residing charges around $13 for a 15 minute conversation between the families and friends of the inmates. This cost of the call is compared to a call that would be made to a non-prison that is estimated to cost 60 cents. In addition to this high cost, Ms. Kofalt also stated that every time that she deposits $25 into the phone account at the prison, she is also charged with a service charge of $7. She understands that what her husband did was wrong; however, she does not believe that she has to suffer for his wrong doing. Now that the prison communication industry is a $1.2 billion industry, more monopolists are looking for places to raise the prices for the consumers. With the many complaints that family and friends have been placing, it is desired that these monopolistic characteristics change.
We have been trying to make as many prison calls as possible with our ministry. We do not just go out to the jails to visit people, but we are also calling in to talk to them when it is time. That is why we needed a good calling service, we spend time and searched prisoncensorship.com and corrections.com and it is something that we have trusted Keefe Group ever since we started. I actually set up the first account so that we could put some inmates on our list, and now Keefe Group helps us manage all the calls we make. We have all the inmates set up for the calls we make, and we have made it very easy for the people that work with us to get the results that we want.
There are many people who are going to have a chance to talk to us because of Keefe Group, and I know that it is making a difference in the world. I have had a lot of calls go through with this company, and they have made it very easy for me to get the results that I need. I have also handed out the information for the calling account to the people that work with me, and that is where we are all making a difference in the world.
There is something about how people are going to communicate with those in jail that can be difficult, but Keefe Group has made it easy. I set up the account in seconds, and I was able to use the calling account to make calls for myself or other people with our group. We get to check in with all the people that we work with, and I know it helps them to know that there is someone out there who is going to help them.
More info? See http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=39055
In Movember 2014, Bastrop County Jail in Texas decided to do away with in person visitation and replace it with video visitation. The sheriff’s office claimed it was to save money and to improve safety. The visits now are fraught with technical issues.
Recent records show that only a few visits are logged each month, and all the money made from the video visits go back into paying for the expensive system. Visitors have the option of going to the jail, using the video system for free, or they can use it from home for 1 USD per minute. The Prison Policy Initiative, a group advocating for inmates and their families, claims that this system is failing to meet the revenue expectations.
Only 49 visits were logged one month as compared to the over 2,000 phone calls. The county jail has to pay Securus back for each unit they have. Unfortunately, they have only been able to pay for one unit per year. The jail will not see a profit until 2025. The jail currently earns 84,000 from phone calls in a year.
The Prison Policy Initiative says the video system is failing to make a profit, because it has too many technical difficulties. Also, the lack of in person contact has a terrible effect on inmates. The video visitation system could lead to more behavioral problems from inmates.
While the inmate communications industry has been under scrutiny for over charging over the past few months, one company that has been making positive contributions to the industry appears to be reaping the benefits. According to a recent article (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/05/prweb13427463.htm), Telmate, which is one of the leaders in the inmate communications industry, has recently surpassed a very impressive benchmark.
Telmate, which is based in San Francisco, recently announced that they have gone over 5.5 million minutes of inmate phone and messaging minutes in the past 30 days. Making this figure even more impressive is the fact that they are currently only in 50 different correctional facilities across the country.
Telmate’s largest success so far in the industry has been the introduction of tablet computers in the facilities. The tablet can now be used as video messaging tools, which will establish a secure connection between the prisoner and the recipient of the video message.
The correctional facilities have stated that the tablets have provided a number of expected and unexpected benefits. One of the expected benefits has been that it has made the prisons a safer place to live. This is largely due to the fact that not as many in-person visitations are needed, which limits the amount of resources need to be spent in the visitation rooms and reduces the number of illegal items snuck into the prison. Further, the tablet system also uses software that finds unusual patters in communication, which can help to solve or stop a crime.
Correctional facilities have also stated that the tablets have been a great way to encourage good behavior. Some believe that having access to the tablet as motivation has likely led to better overall behavior in the prison, which has led to a reduction in fights and other outbursts among inmates.