Securus Technologies is based in Dallas, Texas, and provides technology solutions for civil and criminal justice and public safety systems in the area. Recently, Securus Technologies announced that it would be releasing a series of articles highlighting ethical wrongs committed by Global Tel Link (a.k.a. “GTL”), a telecommunications company in the industry that has long been a provider of telephone service to prison inmates. Securus hopes to shame GTL into adopting higher standards and more ethical business practices, and I have to say that it is about time.
The first article released by Securus highlights a 1998 report from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), in which the LPSC finds that GTL was guilty of fraudulently altering telephone clocks to add extra seconds to calls, charging higher rates than the law permitted, and double-billing for calls, among other things. Securus acknowledges that these transgressions were committed 18 years ago, but makes the salient point that the Enron and Bernie Madoff scandals are also dated, and the passage of time has done nothing to reduce the seriousness of those matters. Today, no one would do business with Enron or Madoff.
That experience has allowed me to realize that inmates cannot be lumped into a category, labeled, and then left behind. Many inmates are good people who have made bad decisions. The families and friends who visit them and call them are their lifeline, and for a company defraud one of society’s most vulnerable populations by taking advantage of that lifeline is inexcusable. I am glad that Securus is taking steps to shine the light on GTL’s business practices. If you’d like more information on Securus Technologies, you can find it here and here.