About Inmate Calling / History

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Amtel was established by CEO Robert Spangler Sr. initially as a coin operated pay telephone company in early 1992. Shortly thereafter, the Sheriff of Nassau County Florida asked Robert Spangler, Sr. to install an inmate telephone system into the County Jail. This project proved remarkably successful and with the increased use of cellular telephones and the declining use of coin operated pay telephones, we made the decision to actively pursue and develop more inmate telephone partners.

The real growth of the company occurred when the Jacksonville State Juvenile Detention Facility asked Amtel to run a test for an inmate telephone system in their facility. The test went exceedingly well which led to Amtel being asked to provide service to all State of Florida Juvenile Detention Facilities. This was quite an undertaking considering there are approximately 67 different facilities and 5600 plus inmates. The State of Florida has been a partner for 17 years now.

Amtel continued to grow and add facilities to their partner list and now has facilities in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

In 2002, the decision was made to expand our service area to the western United States. We formed the Telewest Division and our office is based in Edwards, Colorado. Telewest is currently marketing our products and services all over the central and western U.S.

Amtel and Telewest have been supervising and delivering inmate telephone systems to detention and correctional facilities now for 21 years with two generations of family involvement in the business giving us a depth of experience and commitment to customer service that other companies do not have.

Telewest is a single source provider, including:
  • Direct local and long distance calls
  • Digital recording
  • Monitoring
  • Pre-connection restrictions
  • Patented digital 3 way call detection
  • Prepaid calling solutions
"We have had TeleWest Inc. as our inmate phone provider for going on 12 years now. I have enjoyed our working relationship with Telewest and their employees. Being a rural county I have found their customer service quick, efficient and friendly which is not always the case with all vendors. Their products have held up well under correctional settings and when failed or damaged it is fixed or replaced quickly as to not interfere with the inmates ability to communicate with family, friends and counsel."
Captain Bill Kaufman, C.J.M.
Jail Administrator
Eagle County Sheriff's Office
Eagle, Colorado
“Garfield County Detention Facility has had the pleasure of working with Telewest for the past several years. Telewest is very service oriented with a fast, attentive response time to any issue/question that may arise. Telewest is highly recommended as an Inmate Phone System provider.”
James Brassfield
Administrative Seargant
Garfield County Colorado Sheriff’s Office.
"Telewest has been serving Rio Blanco County for several years and we have never been disappointed in their service. They are quick to respond to questions or issues we are having and work quickly and effectively to resolve any issues. They are particularly prompt on getting me phone cards to sell to the inmates when I request them. So far I would not consider changing phone providers."
Deb Merriam
Jail Commander
Rio Blanco County Colorado Sheriff's Office