States enjoy kickback from prison phone gougers

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The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

I’m not Christian, but the idea above is spot on.


This is important because the ability of prisoners to maintain a family structure and connections on the outside that can support them after release is directly related to the recidivism rate. Prisoners with no support available after release are more likely to reoffend.

Not to mention the children of prisoners, whose other parents or caretakers need to make the choice between making an expensive phone call and paying other bills. It’s a cruel, unfair, and disgusting system that’s exacerbated by political agendas that demonize people in prison to an extreme extent.


There is also the problem of why the state turns to such things in order to fund their prisons, and it includes the fact that despite the fact that we’ve vastly expanded the number of prisoners over the past few decades, funds have likely become harder to come by, especially in the sunbelt, as there is increased budget pressure on states. That doesn’t absolve the states for this kind of BS, but it helps to explain and contextualize it a bit more.

The most recently released season of Orange is the New Black deals directly with privatization of the prison system and is worth watching precisely for that reason.


I wonder if the ACLU could do an end-run on this via the Sherman Act.

Am I missing something, or is there no indication of what Mark’s long quote in the OP is from?

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Well, these companies now want to file appeals. It’s vital that you get your state Public Utility Commission or Public Service Commission to also act on these proposed rates by the FCC.

I was actually really surprised this never got mentioned on Serial. Not the subject of the series, but NPR probably payed a king’s ransom.

America: Poster Child and Warning Notice for the evils of an unfettered and free wheeling capitalism.
U$A: Y’all are done.

The fact that we’ve apparently learned the wrong lesson from history is not a point in our favor; but this sort of behavior is actually an ‘everything old is new again’ phenomenon.

Prisons in the UK were a private-and-for-profit matter until that was eventually reformed away in the 19th century; and the concept of the ‘Sponging House’(where you would send somebody to be squeezed of such money as could be extracted) and fine institutions like Marshalsea are deservedly notorious.

Again, the fact that we’ve learned precisely the wrong lesson is damning; but our lawful-evil is not so innovative as it might imagine.

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