Jails are replacing family visits with video chat / Boing Boing

From the article:

Jails around the country are replacing in-person visits with “video visitations,” which means kids, parents,  and spouses of inmates won’t be able to see each other in real life, only through a small video monitor. This depressing photo is from GTL, who provides video-visitation services to prisons.

It’s not surprising to learn that families will have to pay a lot of money to use this degrading technology: “Video calls cost 40¢ per minute in Newton County, 50¢ per minute in Lowndes County, and $10 per call in Allen County,”

Source: Jails are replacing family visits with video chat / Boing Boing

The current predatory pricing of phone calls from jails is stunning to begin with. The average cal from a family member in jail from us was $15-$30. it averaged about $18 for a short call. We are not talking an all nighter. It was always less than 15 minutes.

This is so fucking predatory, and there is nothing you can do about it.

This is a further way to charge inmates for services that should be free.

In a day and age where I have free calls on my cell phone, I am completely confused as to how they can argue that just making phone calls is so expensive that a third party administrator can rake in the cash on it.

We allow this as a country because there is this idea that people in prison are not there to be rehabilitated, but to suffer. Any suffering that people in prison go through, the general culture climate responds with, “Good.”

This flies in the face of research and data that show us what can help inmates get better, and have productive lives. Further isolating inmates from their loved ones is not something that will help with recidivism.