One of the largest providers of prison phone services in the United States is suing the Florida Department of Corrections for violating the procurement process in awarding a contract for inmate communications services to a competitor, Global Tel Link.
In an interesting twist in the story of Securus, the company accuses the FL DOC of requesting negotiating for a “panoply of goods and services that have nothing to do with inmate telephone services” and alleges that “the Department has done so on the backs of some of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens.”
The accusations were made as part of a filing submitted on Tuesday in Circuit Court of Leon County, where the state capital, Tallahassee, and the FL DOC are located.
Securus and other companies focused on providing communication services to inmates have been consistently criticized by prison rights advocates. In many agreements with the jails and prisons they serve, commissions are provided to the facilities, helping, in part, to encourage high fees and high charges upon the inmates and their families. MuckRock is currently working on a project to understand the scope of these contracts and the benefits being given to the facilities themselves.
The filing, obtained by the Florida Times-Union, can be found embedded below.