How to Set Up a Global Tel Link Account

How to Set Up a Global Tel Link Account
Image Credit: martin-dm/E+/GettyImages

Prison inmates in some states use Global Tel Link accounts to communicate with their family members and friends. The account manages prepaid minutes to predetermined phone numbers. Global Tel Link is not available in every prison system; different systems use in different providers. Conduct research or ask at the facility about the communications services available.

Areas Served by GTL

The Global Tel Link service is available in a few states, and it serves the penal systems within those states. The prisons are often state-managed systems, and the telecommunications provider works on contracts from the states. GTL may also have federal contracts, and the service offerings can change based on the system and the current contracts available.

Currently, the GTL system is available in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The number of states and institutions is subject to change, but information about the service is widely available and often communicated to inmates through the Department of Corrections. Otherwise, a web search reveals where the Global Tel Link phone systems are currently operating.

The recent attention focused on for-profit prison systems where price gouging on phone plans is normal may lead to changes and reforms in the communication processes used by correctional institutions.

GTL Account Setup

The GTL accounts are managed through The online portal is the easiest way to set up and manage funds for an inmate. You can use this account to add funds to the inmate's trust account, which allows inmates to make basic purchases. The inmate can also use these funds to manage their own phone minutes by purchasing debit plans for phone use directly through the prison.

The Global Tel Link account accommodates friends and family who want to purchase phone time through their prepaid plans. This makes it easy to put time on the account so that the inmate can call your line without purchasing minutes from the general trust account. Using the Connect Network system makes it possible to access the general account and add funds. The account is a one-way system; you can only add money or prepay for phone services.

If you prefer to use a phone system, call the toll free number at 800-483-8314. You can set up the prepaid account and add funds through this phone number. You need to have the inmate's name, location and, sometimes, the inmate ID number to set up the account. The online portal is often slow, and the website is not always running, so this option is worth pursuing.

Adding Funds

Global Tel accounts are all prepaid. When the minutes run out, the service notifies you directly on the call before cutting off the call. You may also receive email alerts from the account about the current balance. You can also log in to check the online balance and determine if additional funds are needed.

When the account requires a recharge, add funds directly through that online account or through the toll-free number. Keep in mind, the AdvancePay system is specific to your phone number. You are linking the inmate directly to your number and funding the calls. The inmate cannot use these funds for other phone numbers. If you want to add funds for general calls and other needs, add them to the trust account through the Connect Network website.