A) Metro PCS offers unlimited talk, Text and web for $40.00
dollars a month.
B) Net 10 wireless offers unlimited calls, text and internet
for $50.00 dollars a month.
C) Global Tel Link (GTL) Inmate Phone System offers a 20
minute collect call for $1.00 dollar connecting fee, plus
.10¢ cents per minute after that for a grand total of $2.90,
not including tax of course!
It doesn't require a high school diploma or GED to realize
which of the above is the worst deal. (That would be "C" in
case you're still in elementary school) How is it possible
with today's technology that a 20 minute collect call by a
prisoner needs to cost so much money when a smart phone user
is able to make calls, send text messages, and surf the web
for a fraction of that price? Well, GTL will have you believe
that their complicated set up of monitoring and recording
phone calls demands and justifies such high fees. Yet, they
conveniently neglect to inform you that they utilize VOIP
(Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology to make these collect
calls! I learned this in Mr. Racioppi's computer class, he was
one of my college professors last semester.
When my family receives a collect call from me, their caller ID shows the
call originating from Dallas, Texas-which is where the GTL
call center is located. All prison collect calls handled by GTL
throughout the US is routed to Dallas via VOIP and then connected
to the destination via VOIP yet again. VOIP companies such as
MagicJack, charge only $20.00 dollars for a year's subscription
for unlimited phone calls! with these facts in mind, how can
anyone not see the injustice and inconvenience these prison phone
calls are causing our familiesl?
I am extraordinarily lucky to have a job in prison which
pays me $7.50 per week. Yet, half of that amount goes into a
savings account which cannot be accessed until my release.
So with the $3.75 that I am allowed to spend, I am only able
to make one phone call per week to my family. You may think
20 minutes per week of phone time is enough, but that's because
you are able to live with your wife or girlfriend and children.
You see them each day, eat with them, put them to sleep at night.
However, I must arrange time each week when my family is avail-
able to accept my call. By the time I finish saying"Hi" and
asking how each one of them are doing, the GTL recording comes
on to inform me that I have 60 seconds remaining on my phone
The pain I feel when I have to hurriedly tell my daughter
that our phone time is up and I can only talk to her again next week, is hard to bear.
She doesn't understand why it's such a
big deal for daddy to call her especially when she can talk all
day on her cell phone without worries.
My daughter relies on
talking to me. When I was 16 yrs. old, I quit school, I didn‘t
value education. I felt that I set a bad example because she also _
quit school at the same age. So, I educated myself further and
obtained my GED and took the B.U. (Boston University) entrance
exam, passed, was interviewed and accepted. I am currently a
sophmore with a 3.5 GPA. Through phone conversations, I have
been able to preach to my daughter the importance of having an
education. From taking my advice, she enrolled in Job Corp. and
received her GED and Certified Nursing Assistant licence. As I
continue to tell her about the importance of a higher education,
I lead by example.
Collect calls play a big part in being involved
in your family's lives. But, the basic privilege of making phone
calls should not be a burden on them because of the greed of
inmate phone companies. (A.K.A. Corporate Moguls) There is no
doubt that collect calls can be made cheaper, if only someone
will step up to regulate the service. I want to keep in close
contact with my children so they won’t go down the road I traveled.
Hearing their voices and giving them my wisdom is an important way
to insure they remain on the positive path. I hope you will help
us—the prisoners-to stay connected with our families by lowering
the cost of phone calls.
Michael S. Gomes
2013 mar 21
2013 jan 19
2013 jan 19
2012 sep 10
2012 sep 1
2012 sep 1