New ICS Rules Put on Hold in Global Tel*Link v. FCC

U.S. Court of Appeals Grants Request From GTL to Postpone Implementation of New Caps on ICS Rates

Reston, Virginia (PRNewsWire) – March 7, 2016 – The implementation of new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rate caps for inmate communication services (ICS) was halted today by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., where a three-judge panel unanimously granted a partial stay in response to the petitions from Global Tel*Link Corporation (GTL) and others who had challenged the FCC’s authority to set rates below providers’ costs and questioned the agency’s attempt to assert jurisdiction in areas traditionally left to state utility commissions and corrections officials.

Over the last ten years, the FCC has diligently raised awareness of significant issues that have plagued the ICS marketplace and its consumers — bringing together inmate advocates, facility administrators, service providers, and lawmakers in a constructive discussion to inform the development of the Commission’s October 2015 order which implemented rate and fee caps on prison phone calls.

Although the FCC’s efforts to bring affordable service to our nation’s inmates and their families are to be lauded, the Commission’s ‘one size fits all’ approach ignored the diversity of correctional institutions in the United States and used blanket policy to address issues that vary from community to community. Nine state attorneys general expressed this sentiment in their challenge to the FCC’s ICS regulations, raising reasonable concerns over the cookie cutter regulatory model and its effect on their ability to responsibly administrate their correctional facilities.

“The marketplace must work with individual communities to ensure that tailor-made solutions bring the lowest possible rates to inmates across the country,” said GTL CEO Brian Oliver. “While the FCC’s public policy goals have merit, their approach has both failed to address fundamental market issues or recognize their jurisdictional limits.”

GTL will continue to work with state and local governments to ensure that all of its correctional facility partners are able to supply inmates with affordable connectivity, while also ensuring each facility has access to innovative new technology.

A number of states have already taken up consideration of inmate rate, fees, and facility payments, including Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado.

“GTL will continue to work with its facility partners to forge solutions that allow each of our customers and their communities to bring the nation’s most affordable phone services to inmates in a way that is right for them,” 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.

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New ICS Rules Put on Hold in Global Tel*Link v. FCC

By: Scott Hoostal – Associate Product Manager, GTL

GTL’s touchscreen-based multi-service unit, known as the Flex Link, has officially become Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Component Certified.

GTL’s Flex Link allows correctional facilities to deliver a diverse set of services to inmates, such as video visitation, inmate messaging and requests, phone calls, and commissary ordering. Delivering such a wide array of software means that uptime and reliability is paramount to the success of GTL’s service deployments. To verify the hardware’s reliability, GTL sent the Flex Link to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for quality and safety testing.

UL is a global independent safety and science company that is “dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments.” UL has over a hundred years’ experience—with their ubiquitous “UL Certified” sticker on billions of products worldwide.

The UL recognition means that GTL’s Flex Link has the honor of being able to carry a UL logo on each individual unit, indicating that the Flex Link has met stringent UL requirements. In order to receive certification, the Flex Link unit had to undergo an eight-week process whereby UL engineers tested the quality and functionality of its hardware components. The UL engineers looked at many factors, such as the material durability, mounting and maintenance procedures, and field safety of the Flex Link. As a result of these tests, the Flex Link was determined to be mechanically sound and awarded a UL seal.

The Component Recognition of GTL’s Flex Link unit affirms GTL’s efforts to provide the highest quality products possible in the corrections market. The image below is an example of the label that will soon be shipping on all of the Flex Link units across the United States. The UL marking is valid in the U.S. and Canada and helps ensure GTL’s Flex Link multi-service unit is fit for the corrections market.

To learn more about our Flex Link multi-service unit or for a product demonstration contact GTL today.

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Payment & Deposit Solutions

Payment Services

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.

Booking & Intake Solutions

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.

Release Solutions

GTL’s innovative technology allows correctional facilities to streamline the release process through a suite of easy-to-use, time-saving products for returning inmate funds at the time of release.

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Enterprise Management Solutions

Offender Management System (OMS)

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.

Inmate Accounting & Commissary

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.

Virtual Receptionist

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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Investigative & Intelligence Solutions

Call & Voice Analysis

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.

Intelligence & Forensic Services

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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Communication Solutions

Inmate Telephone Systems

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.

Inmate Messaging

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.

Visitation Management

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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Inmate Services

Education & Information

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.

Entertainment

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.

In-Facility Services

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.