By Brian Dolinar and James Kilgore, Truthout | News Analysis February 13, 2015
Based outside of Dallas, Texas, C is a leading force in a billion-dollar prison phone industry. The company has amassed a fortune by charging families like the Saucedos about $4 for a 15-minute phone call (plus additional fees). (Image: Phone in chains via Shutterstock)
Dallas-based Securus Technologies has become a carceral conglomerate. Building off its profits in the $1.2 billion-per-year prison phone industry, the company has branched out into video visitation, electronic monitoring and other technologies for prisons and jails.
I recently received a letter from a person asking how to get involved with supporting women in prison. The return address was from a small town that takes up 2.4 square miles and has approximately 14,000 residents. As far as the letter writer knew, there were no organizations — or even individual advocates — working around these issues nearby. The letter reminded me that not everyone is blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) enough to live in a city with opportunities to get involved in advocacy or direct support.
Jails across the country have become vast warehouses made up primarily of people too poor to post bail or too ill with mental health or drug problems to adequately care for themselves, according to a report issued Wednesday.
Look for #cut50 on Twitter to engage in the continuing conversation on criminal justice reforms.
The possibility of federal criminal justice reform is bringing together bipartisan voices for a congressional briefing on January 22, 2015. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was joined by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Public Policy Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Vikrant Reddy, and #cut50 founder Van Jones to discuss areas of opportunity and the need for bipartisan reforms. The briefing was hosted by #cut50, a bipartisan initiative to halve the US prison population.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Vikrant Reddy, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House
Emcee: Van Jones, Rebuild the Dream & #cut50