Politicians from both parties win elections promising to be tough on criminals. Most offenders are labeled by those politicians. Criminals are called inhuman and violent, but those labels may only apply to a small number of the 716 people per 100,000 that are sent to a state or federal prison. More than 60 percent of those people are nonviolent offenders. Six million Americans can’t vote because they have been convicted of a criminal offense. That’s bad enough. But the real abuse of lawbreakers doesn’t start when they are released. It starts when they are incarcerated.
The quest to make a buck doesn’t stop at prison bars. Several companies are awarded contracts to sell goods and services to inmates, and many of those contracts are highly suspect. Recent investigations in state prisons across the country have uncovered fraud, kickbacks, and downright legal stealing by contractors that say they help inmates survive while they are serving time. A recent report concluded that many offenders that have frequent contact with family and loved ones, while they are behind bars, are less likely to return to prison. Several companies offer telephone service to inmates, but one company, in particular, has been reaping the rewards of the jaded contract system for years. Global Tel Link is a major phone service provider for thousands of prisons across the country. According to Bloomberg’s report, GTL has been called out numerous times by families that are forced to pay the inflated charges for calls from inmates.
Global Tel-Link was able to charge $17 to $18 per minute for calls made from prisons for years. The Federal Communication Commission got involved recently and stopped that practice. But GTL still adds fees to phone calls, and those fees make calling a very expensive. The ACLU wants to stop companies from ripping off families of inmates. But GTL is still in business doing just that. Watch this YouTube video that further explains GTL’s alleged jail fraud.