Great Beyond

FCC Adjusts, But Still Can’t Implement, Caps On Sky-High Rates Prisoners Pay To Call Home

We’re used to saying that someone is a “captive audience” for a major monopoly, but for the millions of Americans living behind bars, that phrase becomes painfully literal. Phone companies that connect inmates to their loved ones on the outside have for years taken advantage of their position with sky-high rates and fees, but the FCC is once again stepping in to help mitigate the problem.

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Great Beyond

Private Healthcare Providers Are Making Big Bucks Contracting With Prisons

When you think of big business, you probably think of an industry like banking, but it turns out that one of the bigger businesses out there happens to be prisons — both private and federal. While we already know that financial institutions benefit from others, collecting tens of millions of dollars every year from inmates’ families in fees for basic financial services, the healthcare industry has also found a veritable goldmine by contracting services to prisons and jails across the country.  [More]

(Rick Drew)

Court Delays Some FCC Efforts To Lower Costs For Prisoners’ Phone Calls

Last fall, a new FCC order sought to reduce the often sky-high prices that prisoners must pay for making phone calls. Those changes were to start kicking in over the coming weeks and months, but today a federal appeals court delayed some reforms while allowing others to move forward. [More]

Great Beyond

FCC Puts Caps On The Sky-High Rates Prisoners Pay To Call Home

Long-distance and collect calling aren’t something most of us have to think about all that often, anymore. But for the families of the 2.2 million Americans living behind bars, the monopoly contracts that exist on phone companies behind bars, and the exorbitant, sky-high rates that spring from them, are a huge problem — one that the FCC has just taken action to mitigate.

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Prisoners Will Soon Be Eligible For Pell Grants To Finance Education

Prisoners Will Soon Be Eligible For Pell Grants To Finance Education

Twenty years after passing a law that banned prisoners from financing higher education with federal grants while incarcerated, the government is ready to begin investing in the education of inmates. [More]

(Rick Drew)

Transferring Funds To Prisoners Is Big Business For Some Financial Companies

Life isn’t supposed to be easy for prisoners, but should the punishment extend to their families? A new report highlights the ways in which some financial institutions appear to be benefiting from the bad fortunes of others while prisoners’ families fall into debt trying to provide necessities like underwear and toothpaste to their loved ones behind bars. [More]

(Rick Drew)

Timberland Boots Have A Lifetime Warranty, Unless You’re In Prison

Prison commissaries sell basic consumer goods like deodorant and snacks, and also optional clothing items like socks and work boots. A reader’s letter brought a dilemma to our attention: the regular warranty exchange procedures don’t work when you’re in prison and can’t receive outside mail. [More]

Smuggled Phones Help Cons Play FarmVille From Behind Bars

Smuggled Phones Help Cons Play FarmVille From Behind Bars

Just because you’re locked up, you shouldn’t have to miss out on texting buddies, logging status updates and playing FarmVille. Thanks to smuggling channels and intense demand, cell phones have become as much a part of the prison experience as lunchtime brawls and toothbrush shanks.

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Private Prisons Worked To Pass AZ Immigration Law

Private Prisons Worked To Pass AZ Immigration Law

A new NPR investigation uncovers evidence that the controversial Arizona immigration law came to pass thanks in large part to an intense lobbying campaign by a group that stood to profit from its enactment: private prisons.

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In Prison, Madoff Is A Hero

In Prison, Madoff Is A Hero

In the outside world, Bernie Madoff is reviled. Inside prison, he’s a hero, admired for his stunning successes.

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Prison Inmate Charged With Running Major Department Store Credit Card Scam

Prison Inmate Charged With Running Major Department Store Credit Card Scam

Seven Ohio men between the ages of 27 and 50 were arrested last week and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after an investigation found evidence that they were gaining access to strangers’ store-issued credit cards to buy and resale merchandise. The group’s leader, who was also charged, is a 33-year-old inmate at Fort Dix, NJ. Investigators think he initially met one of the Ohio men in prison.

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At Least The Prison Economy Is Flourishing

At Least The Prison Economy Is Flourishing

We might be dealing with low inflation and even a falling cost of living, but not everyone in the United States is dealing with the same economic woes. Americans who are in prison have their own economy—one with rampant inflation, alleged price-fixing, and a fish packet-based economy.

Madoff Gives First Prison Interview To Victims' Lawyers

Madoff Gives First Prison Interview To Victims' Lawyers

Bernie Madoff has given his first prison interview…to attorneys representing his victims. Highlights: He’s quite candid now (what has he got to lose?), he can’t believe that he got away with running an epic Ponzi scheme for as long as he did, and apparently he’s been working out.

NY Lawmaker Wants Rich Convicts To Pay For Their Own Incarceration

NY Lawmaker Wants Rich Convicts To Pay For Their Own Incarceration

New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedicsco sees an injustice. The upstate Republican saw wealthy scammer Bernie Madoff convicted and sent to federal prison for 150 years the rest of his life at taxpayer expense. How fair is that? Why can’t rich criminals pay their own way?

Tell Your Great-Grandchildren To Protect Their Money In 2139

Tell Your Great-Grandchildren To Protect Their Money In 2139

When Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, they weren’t kidding around. Here’s a screencap of his profile in the U.S. federal prison system database. He’s in the system as scheduled for release in 2139.

Spam Kings Plead Guilty, Are Headed To Prison

Spam Kings Plead Guilty, Are Headed To Prison

The war on spam is just as doomed as the war on drugs, but the FBI has won a battle, bringing down a bulk commercial e-mail ring that pimped Chinese penny stocks into unwilling inboxes. They also developed bot network that helped spam avoid detection.

Madoff Asks Judge For 12-Year Sentence

Madoff Asks Judge For 12-Year Sentence

“Mr. Madoff is currently 71 years old and has an approximate life expectancy of 13 years,” wrote Sorkin, whose letter was released on Tuesday. “A prison term of 12 years – just short of an effective life sentence – will sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public and promoting respect for the law.”

Wendy's Employee Gets Prison Time For Putting Hair In Burger

Wendy's Employee Gets Prison Time For Putting Hair In Burger

Remember Thomas Bender? He was the Wendy’s employee in West Virginia who garnished a police officer’s sandwich with a ball of pubic hair earlier this year. He’s just been sentenced to 6 months in prison and 2 years probation.