How Prisons Have Become a Cash Cow For the Rich

Rampant privatization is wreaking havoc on our society.

Case in point: what’s happened over the past few decades with prison phone services.

It used to be that if you were incarcerated at, say, the state penitentiary or the local jail you could call your family collect for as little as $4 an hour.

But then, states began signing contracts with private phone companies like AT&T, who, in turn, began charging sky-high rates for phone calls between prisoners and their families.

A 15-minute phone call that used to cost just a few bucks soon started costing as much as $17, which is a lot to ask from people in jail and prison, who generally have little to no income or from their families, who often live in poverty.

Of course, while prisoners struggled to find a way to talk to their loved ones without breaking the bank, the phone companies got – and have stayed – very, very rich. The prison phone service industry now rakes in around $1.2 billion every year.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.

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