Freddi Responds to New Email System for PA

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 GTL charges more per page of e-mail than JPay did. Also, those in the hole no longer have the “privilege” to receive the e-mails. I’m with a volunteer visitor organization and have contacted many of the inmates I visited, quickly and cheaply this way. Now have to use the USPS which takes 4 days or more. Also, my real name would be blazoned on the e-mails I send through GTL. Our organization does not encourage us to use our full names with the prisoners (notice, it’s “prisoners” not “inmates” – they themselves prefer to be referred to as “prisoners”). Can’t see why PA DOC went with GTL. They get the phone call service through Securus, which owns JPay and JPay also has tablet service. Go figure… And the tablets which cost prisoners $140. dollars are available on the street for about $40.
Thanks so much for your comment, Freddi.  You make some real good points, especially that prisoners can’t just receive paper copies of their emails like they could with the previous JPay system–which means that prisoners in solitary are left out because they can’t use the GTL kiosks. They also can’t have a paper library of their previous email communications, which often hold important information.  And, yes, the emails are more expensive than before with JPay.  It appears obvious that the system was designed for DOC income rather than a way to make communication with family, friends and volunteers easier and more available.
Rick DiLaurenzo, editor
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