Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Private Prison Charges Inmates $5 A Minute For Phone Calls While They Work For $1 A Day

By Amanda Peterson Beadle posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Nov 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Last year the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money to run immigration detention centers. Their largest facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds, and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.
Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’ need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day. At that rate, it would take five days to pay for just one minute.
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For those that say that the private sector can do things better let this be a lesson.  They don't know how to pick a phone company.  Forget magic jack and vonage, even AT&T could  save you 75 to 90 percent on those calls. They would even throw in free cell phones (pun intended) and make a killing.

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