As someone who has given his life to the effectiveness and betterment of the role of the corrections officer in our criminal justice system, I feel a debt of gratitude to Securus Technologies, a provider of detainee communications, parolee tracking, and government information management solutions that services over 2,600 correctional facilities in North America. Securus holds an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, BBB.
Already highly regarded in the corrections field, Securus recently brought to PR Newswire’s attention the regrettable actions of the inmate communications provider Global Tel Link (GTL). The report, the first of several, summarizes in detail the unethical practices of GTL and the unfortunate burden on inmates, their families and local taxpayers.
This initial report from Securus bases its information on the findings of the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the behavior of GTL when they provided outbound telecommunication resources to thousands of inmates in the Louisiana Corrections system.
The findings pointed to these documented breaches by GTL:
- Global Tel Link programmed the telephone clocks in these prisons to add time to the length of the call.
- Global Tel Link programmed its phones to rate calls on a higher rating than was in the original contracts.
- After calls were rated, GTL levied artificial charges to its customers.
- Customers were billed more than once for the same call by GTL.
- These unlawful practices by Global Tel Link were deliberate in most cases and for no other reason than to gain illegal profit.
- As a result of these charges the taxpayers of Louisiana taxpayers were overcharged by GTL a total of $1,243,000.
While the Louisiana findings are almost 20 years old, few of us knew about it at the time. Much worse, these unethical practices by Global Tel Link are still continuing.
This kind of behavior causes everyone in the corrections industry to experience deep regret. To paraphrase Rick Smith, CEO of Securus Technologies:
It offends everyone in our industry when a carrier breaches the level of integrity that all other carriers have – but GTL does not. Our business is not just about profit. We want to serve all of our customers with their best interests at heart and in the right way.
Thank you, Mr. Smith. My colleagues and I are looking forward to your next report.
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