Free weekly communication for incarcerated individuals

During no-vist pandemic, program ensures regular communication

OW Staff Writer | 9/17/2020, midnight
Global Tel Link (GTL), a service provider with the California Department of Corrections..

Global Tel Link (GTL), a service provider with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as LA County Jail, recently announced that free weekly communication options are now being offered to county customers that contract phone or tablet services with the company. GTL instituted weekly free calls and messages at state Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities at the beginning of August.

“We want to ensure that every individual who uses a GTL solution to communicate with their loved ones has a way to connect each week regardless of their financial situation,” said Deb Alderson, GTL president & CEO. “This means all incarcerated individuals at GTL facilities will be able to maintain regular contact with their family during incarceration, leading to stronger relationships upon release and a more positive reentry experience.”

Families and friends may appreciate the move, which provides a guaranteed time each week in which they can communicate with their incarcerated loved one.

“During this time of no visitation, the free calls have been a lifesaver for the inmates and have been an absolute blessing,” said Bill, who has an incarcerated loved one at New Castle Correctional Facility in Indiana. “Just to hear a friendly voice helps them keep their sanity. Thanks so much.”

The newly expanded program will provide a baseline of communication through a free five-minute weekly phone call or two free weekly messages, depending on the facility’s services.

Loreal, who is currently incarcerated at an Indiana Department of Corrections facility, said “I feel amazing because I have been reconnecting with my father after 15 years of not hearing from him. I feel like it lessens the burden on my family to add money on the phones, which means they can use that money to help provide for my daughter, sister, and brother who is off to college this month.”

“GTL has long provided free calls during emergency situations for affected customers, but a program of this magnitude—one that touches every single customer with one of our communication solutions—has never been undertaken,” said Matthew Caesar, GTL executive vice president, Customer Solutions. “Being separated from loved ones takes a toll, and we understand that. With this program, our goal became a reality—we are providing all incarcerated individuals that use GTL services with a baseline of free communication.”