A investigation by Prison Legal News exposes how prisons are getting fat kickbacks from telephone companies in order to land exclusive service contracts, which they then use to charge sky-high calling rates. There’s usually a connection charge of $3.00 or more and it can cost upwards of $.89 a minute. That means a 15-minute collect call can end up costing $10-$17. Compare that to the $.05 or $.10 most customers pay. Because the calls are often collect, it’s the prisoners’ families that end up paying the price.
It’s one thing to be judged guilty, but your punishment shouldn’t include price gouging.
According to the report, “PLN found that 42 states accept kickback commissions from prison phone companies… In some cases the commissions exceed 60 percent of prison phone revenue.”
It’s time to cut the cord.
Nationwide PLN Survey Examines Prison Phone Contracts, Kickbacks (PDF) [Prison Legal News]
Study exposes prison phone price gouging [PSLweb]
(Thanks to Bob!)
Ex-Communication: Competition and Collusion in the U.S. Prison Telephone Industry [Critical Studies in Media Communication]