Because I just have so many thoughts and feelings to share that a full-time reporting/blogging job isn’t enough.
Liz since i could not find a place a leave to leave a comment on ur story about the price of phone calls for prison inmates and the effect it has on them and their families i found this place to leave u a not. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this story. You have brought to light a very serious issue for this group of people. I hope you will continue to follow up on this problem and write articles about it. I live in Missouri and for many years this was a serious problem. I know 1st hand the problems this can cause a family. In the 1980’s my husband at the time was incarcerated for several months the price of phone calls from him caused me to lose my phone, and worst of all caused serious depression for him, for me and also for our 2 young children who had no way to speak with their father for several months. In the early 2000’s my son was incarcerated and again the same thing, the phone calls and connection fees where outrageous, but I was able to afford to allow him limit calls to be able to hear our voices, which was very important to him. Here we are 10 or so years later and Missouri has worked on this problem and over the years the charges have come down. The MODOC has recently contracted with a new company called Securitas, their rates are .05 a minute with no connection fee. If the person on the outside wishes to purchase the minutes they can do so online or over the phone with a debt/credit card. They do require that u purchase at least $25.00 at a time and have a $6.00 charge to process the payment, but at .05 a minute, it allows me to talk to my son every day or 2. The inmate can also purchase minutes, the way i understand it they can purchase as few as 2 or 3 minutes and do not have to pay the processing fee. This is truely the best plan that i have ever seen and am so thankful that M issouri has finally changed their plans to this. There are a lot of things that needed as far as prison reform goes, but this is something that I think is a great benefit, especially to the parents, spouses or other family members of inmates. We have not committed any crime, but at the same time it often feeled like we were being punished along with our famlly member. Again thank you for the article you wrote bringing this problem to the attention of people who are not aware of it.
High prison pay phone rates also help support criminality.
Inmates coordinating with people inside & outside the prison often communicate with cell phones smuggled into the prison.
There are big penalties for possessing the phone.
The real owners of the cell phones have other inmates hold the phone, giving those inmates free calls home.
Much more reasonable pay phone rates would remove the incentive (staying in touch with family & friends) of an otherwise “good” inmate to hold the phone for a gang leader. Then the gang leader would have to run the risk and penalty for possessing a illicit cell phone in order to coordinate criminality and bypass prison security.
States are indirectly supporting criminal enterprises for the sake of incoming funds in a pay-to-play scheme.
Shouldnt the incoming funds be confiscated under the current civil forfeiture laws?
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