The Overcharged Bill of Communication


Not every family can afford the communication price of some penitentiaries and prisons around the world. It is no recent news that prisons use the communication service to profit a lot from the inmates and their desperate attempts to have a decent contact with their families. Of course, this is not a rule that describes 100% of the facilities: Those that use a third-party communication provider service, with guaranteed security and transparency, usually maintain a relatively ethical price on the phone service.


This reality is harsher than many people think. There are hundreds of families that end up spending thousands of dollars on communication just to have regular contact with their family member that is incarcerated. Sometimes, it’s a fairly bad communication system.


There is also the other side of the spectrum. Companies like Securus Technologies Communications are developing ways for inmates to utilize a smartphone app from the agency to directly contact their families without having to clog the telephone waiting line. Of course, not every correction agency is willing to stop the profit that the traditional phone system brings, but the technology exists.


This sad truth is usually truer for families that can’t afford to visit their loved ones in prison. Sometimes, countries and borders separate them, and there’s nothing they can do besides calling the agency.


Robert Richardson, with a 60-year sentence at Louisiana State Penitentiary, speaks about how it’s the only way to maintain contact with his kids and his beloved wife, even though they are throwing away a significant chunk of the family’s income.


The communication industry, however, has a bright future ahead for families that want to maintain contact with their relatives and friends. More and more, law enforcers and the legislative sector are paying attention to these kinds of overbilling, and companies that provide communication systems are finding new ways to improve the communication while making welcome changes for both sides.