Just like in everything else, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been exploiting President Trump’s “free market” policy to harm prisoners. The families of inmates also suffer the same fate at the hands of monopolistic.
They do this by slamming inmates with as much as $14 per minute of prison calls to families. Relatives of inmates bear the brunt of costly calls in a bid to talk with incarcerated loved ones.
Contracting Out Prison Business to Private Investors Is a Give-and-Take Affair
Trump’s idea (The fuckhead ommpa loompa orange beast! ~ Heidispeare) of a Trump free market has given the leeway to economic exploiters to profit from the system.
And private as well as state prisons are making the best use of the opportunity to rake in billions of dollars per year.
Backed by hedge-fund operators who own most private prison families, state governments make a fortune from contracting out prison business to these.
And it works by a simple system of give-and-take. The state governments give out prison businesses to private investors, and these in turn give back huge kickbacks for the favor. To earn back their investments, the private operators charge inmates heavily for prison calls and relatives suffer for this business.
Introduction of Video Calls Eliminates the Persona Visits to Prison Inmates
Most unfortunately, racialized prisoners and their families tend to be in the center of this ugly commerce. And the reason is not far-fetched, racialized persons mostly end up in prison for the slightest offense or misdemeanor.
When the hue and cry about the exorbitant prison call rates became too loud, private prison operators changed tactics: they introduced video calls. The use of video terminals in prison facilities is much costlier than regular phone calls, and it has necessitated the elimination of in-person visits to inmates.
The Obama administration in 2015 tasked the FCC to place caps on prison call rates ( I miss Obama ~ Heidispeare). But as soon as the Trump government came to power, they reversed the Obama prison policy and burdened families of incarcerated persons with huge call rates (the asshats they are.)
The matter went to court to challenge the reversal, but without a defense, the rule was struck down and the rest as they say today is history. The battle of prison call rates however continues…