Global Tel*Link Expresses Grave Concern with Proposed FCC Decision on Inmate Calling Services

Global Tel*Link Expresses Grave Concern with Proposed FCC Decision on Inmate Calling Services

Order Ensures All Parties Lose, Company will Pursue Stay of FCC decision

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2015 / (PRNewswire-USNewswire/) – Today, Global Tel*Link (GTL) expressed its dismay and concern about the impact of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) latest order instituting new regulations for the Inmate Calling Services (ICS) industry. These new regulations establish caps on rates and fees for intra- and interstate calls, but stop short of capping site commissions – rather opting to “strongly discourage” these payments to facility administrators.

These steps create significant financial instability in the industry and will pose a threat to service at many of the nation’s smaller jails. Consequently, GTL is left with no choice but to seek judicial review of the FCC’s order. GTL agrees with the concerns of the dissenting commissioners and encourages all stakeholders to join in challenging this well-intended yet disastrously short-sighted plan.

“In today’s decision, the FCC may ultimately hurt inmates and their families – the very people they set out to help. While they might see lower per-minute rates, they could be left with either the lowest quality of phone service or no phone service at all,” said GTL CEOBrian Oliver. “Indeed, telling the world that technology, security, and commissions can all be provided under the proposed caps is profoundly naïve, ignores the FCC’s own record and defies common sense.”

The FCC’s latest order creates a financial tsunami for the ICS industry. The order reduces rates below the sustainable cost of service for providers and preserves the largest driver of overhead costs. This could have a crippling impact not only on service providers, which may be forced to cancel contracts, but on inmates and their families, many of whom may be left with no service at all.

“GTL supports bringing cutting edge technologies and affordable phone service to facilities, inmates, and their families across the United States. We have demonstrated this commitment repeatedly by working with our industry partners to develop a sustainable and comprehensive solution that would reduce costs for consumers. By ignoring this proposal and the overwhelming evidence submitted in support of it, today’s FCC order could have the opposite effect,” Oliver said.

“As an industry we were willing to compromise. We worked collaboratively, hand-in-hand with staff and Commissioner Clyburn’s office to seek sustainable public policy outcome. But at the 11th hour, the FCC turned its back on a ten year record and has fallen short of that goal,” Oliver continued.

GTL has consistently advocated for a balanced approach towards reigning in phone rates – one that would address, rates, fees, and commissions in a comprehensive manner that utilizes the numerous cost studies submitted to the docket by facility administrators, service providers, and interested third party organizations. As the FCC has decided to ignore the body of evidence that points to this common-sense reform model, GTL will be forced take this argument to the court, with the hope that the end result will be long-lasting, affordable phone service for our nation’s inmates and their loved ones.

“Despite this misguided attempt at reform, GTL is committed to seeking an outcome that is balanced, delivers on the promise of low rates and fees, while addressing the leading cost factor. We must, unfortunately, again seek the intervention of the courts to ensure an outcome that is truly fair, balanced and sustainable,” Oliver said.

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About Global Tel*Link
GTL is the leading provider of integrated correctional technology solutions, delivering financial value, security, and ease of operation to our customers through visionary products and solutions at the forefront of corrections innovation. As a trusted correctional industry leader, GTL provides service to approximately fifty percent of inmates nationwide, including service to 33 state departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 33 of the largest city/county facilities. GTL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with more than 10 regional offices across the country. To find out more about GTL, please visit our website www.gtl.net.

Press Release Contact
Megan Humphreys
McBee Strategic Consulting
202.234.1224
email: mhumphreys@mcbeestrategic.com

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Industry Publications

Feature Articles

The July/August 2015 print edition of Corrections Today included a story submitted by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) about an automated process and system that was put in place to automate inmate requests to staff. The article explains how the request system that was deployed by GTL for SCDC ultimately led to a request fulfillment rate of 97.6%. The digital reprint is available below.
Corrections Today July/August 2015 (.pdf)

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The March/April 2015 print edition of Correctional News included a feature story that covered GTL’s position in the market, the full breadth of our portfolio, and how we can deliver whole solutions to our customers. The digital reprint is available below.
March / April 2015 (.pdf)

Global Tel*Link Expresses Grave Concern with Proposed FCC Decision on Inmate Calling Services

GTL Inspire® inmate tablets are secure communication devices built to meet the rigors of a corrections environment
Matt Ford, Product Manager, Mobility Platforms, GTL

PRNewsWireGTL believes in the philosophy that keeping inmates connected to their friends and family members is vital to reducing recidivism rates. Now more than ever, we are seeing correctional facilities around the country making a shift in their overall approach towards inmates by introducing GTL’s Inspire® inmate tablets.

The Inspire inmate tablet is the industry-leading inmate communication device in the corrections market, which inmates use to sustain their vital outside personal connections. Introducing Inspire tablets into a corrections environment is proving to have a positive effect on inmates and friends and family members.

Inspire inmate tablets are also delivering increased efficiencies for facilities and their corrections staff. Simultaneously, these inmate tablets are enabling inmates to communicate more frequently with their friends and family. The tablets can also be used as an effective education and entertainment device.

Recent news coverage in Davidson County, Tennessee discusses their experience with the introduction of GTL’s Inspire tablets. In addition to offering services to the inmates that enable them to engage with facility staff, in some cases, our Inspire tablets are operating as an inmate behavioral control mechanism for correctional officers and serving as a powerful incentive inside facilities. Our customers are seeing inmates with access to Inspire tablets improving their behavior in order to have the option and privilege of using the tablet for various purposes such as listening to music, playing games, reading an eBook, or completing coursework offered through our large library of educational content.

This range of options on the Inspire inmate tablet is made possible by the inmates paying for the services they want. Therefore, in almost every instance, these tablets come at no cost to taxpayers. GTL is working with our customers to provide a key public service of rehabilitation that is producing positive results. Facilities providing simple access for inmates to a secure Inspire tablet are showing potential and increasing the likelihood that once released, those inmates will not repeat offend. This is a huge benefit for taxpayers, the surrounding communities overall public safety, and the former inmate and their loved ones. It only makes sense this is where our industry is headed technologically.

However, the corrections environment is a challenging place for any product—and tablets are no different. Every day, there’s a possibility a tablet could be dropped, bumped, or shaken. Therefore, the technology GTL is providing to our customers must be rugged enough to endure the rigors of a corrections environment.

The latest model of GTL’s tablet, Inspire 1.5, was released in January 2017 and meets the “Transit Drop” test requirement specified by MIL-STD-810G 516.6 Section 4.6.5, a set of protocols that the U.S. Department of Defense uses to assess ruggedness. The tablet emerged unscathed from the rigorous drop test, from which it endured being dropped from a height of four feet onto a rigid surface 26 times—a drop on each of the unit’s six faces, eight corners, and 12 edges. Thanks to its rugged exterior casing, the new Inspire device suffered no physical damage and no operational impairment.

As facilities turn towards introducing tablets into their inmate population, Inspire tablets are leading the way as the future of inmate rehabilitation and securely monitored communications.

GTL will continue to invest time and resources into building products suited for the corrections environment. We are proud to have earned this elite drop test certification and will continue working closely with our customers to provide cutting-edge, industry-leading technologies that are both rugged and reliable.

To learn more about GTL Inspire inmate tablets or for a product demonstration, contact GTL today.

Press Contact: Vinnie Mascarenhas
703-955-3894
vinnie.mascarenhas@gtl.net

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GTL’s Deposit Systems create efficiencies when taking deposits, reduce correctional facility costs, and increase the convenience for friends and family members. GTL offers a broad selection of products to choose from so that the right mix can be created for every facility.

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GTL offers multiple options for friends and family to set up and fund telephone accounts, inmate trust accounts, or commissary accounts. This streamlines the payment process for friends and family members seeking to communicate with incarcerated loved ones or provide them with funds.

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From intake to release, information on all aspects of an inmate’s incarcerations are maintained by the GTL Offender Management System (OMS) – including initial intake, charges, sentencing, property, housing, medical, meal planning, scheduling, and temporary release to name a few.

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OMS Accounting was specifically designed to meet the needs of correctional facilities of every size. Unlike standard off-the-shelf accounting systems, OMS Accounting offers corrections institutions the exact modules that will help them complete all of their correctional facility’s accounting activities.

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GTL’s Facility Services Secretary allows friends and families to easily access facility information, inmate status, and other services such as court dates, release dates, facility address and directions, rules and policies, visitation information and hours, just by dialing a single toll-free number.

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GTL’s IQ family of call and voice analysis products offer investigators a range of options for gathering actionable intelligence to combat fraud, criminal activity, and gang and terrorist recruitment by pinpointing the location of a called party, identifying phone type, detecting calls from multiple inmates to a single called party, and identifying inmates using voiceprints.

Data Analysis

GTL’s data analysis tools include a powerful data mining and link analysis application to identify actionable intelligence critical to ensuring a facility’s safety and security. They offer the ability to take any data source for the purposes of analysis, even including the detection of mobile devices and the extraction of its data.

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GTL’s Intelligence as a Service offering is flexible enough to meet the unique demands of individual facilities. Focused on the development of actionable intelligence, analysts are trained and equipped with the tools to analyze vast amounts of raw data to provide facilities with the proverbial “needle in a haystack.” Depending on facility needs, analysts can also be equipped to provide mobile device forensic services to extract data from legally seized contraband phones, thus assisting facilities in shutting down the supply of contraband.

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GTL’s feature-rich Inmate Telephone System is a turnkey solution that comes complete with all hardware and software, including the telephone network, circuits, monitoring and recording system, call-control system, secure database, telephones, workstations, printers, and associated software.

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Message Link provides an electronic alternative to an otherwise inefficient and potentially tainted communication method. As contraband and cryptic messages are entering correctional facilities through an ever-rising level of creativity, Message Link provides a secure, controlled environment for inmate messaging.

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The GTL VisitMe video visitation solution allows facilities to transition traditional in-person visitation service to a more secure on-premise or remote alternative. This highly scalable solution can help facilities improve security while reallocating staff time to more critical tasks.

VisitMe Scheduler can eliminate long queues in the visitation area by avoiding the chaos of having a high volume of concurrent visitors at the facility. In so doing, the system also minimizes staffing requirements.

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Education Link allows inmates to take advantage of several electronic learning initiatives while monitoring and reporting each inmate’s progress so adjustments can be made, if necessary.

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Our in-pod kiosk can be configured to allow inmates to access a variety of approved multimedia applications through a secure personal device. Offerings in the GTL entertainment portfolio provide access to the largest MP3/4, video, and e-book secure library available.

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Introducing GTL Genesis to a facility provides an automated alternative to manual, behind-the-bars activities. In addition, the GTL Genesis provides the opportunity to introduce new interactive technologies that help inmates manage their incarcerated time.