Originally posted on Internationalist Prison Books Collective:
Prison phone rates have decreased by 25% to 50% overnight thanks to new U.S. rules, according to one service provider
From Corporate Media
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. prison inmates and their families will now be able to speak by phone at much lower prices thanks to new federal rules that went into effect on Tuesday. The new rules were crafted by the Federal Communications Commission and are designed to crack down on what prison inmate advocates call abusive and predatory practices by phone companies.
For over a decade, many prison inmates in both state and federal facilities have paid significantly higher rates to make interstate phone calls than people outside of correctional facilities. According to the FCC, some prison inmates have had to pay as much as $17 for a 15 minute phone call.
The new rate caps, which were passed by the agency last fall under the leadership…
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Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:
BOCA RATON, Fla. — On Feb. 1 the GEO Group assumed management of three Florida correctional facilities under a contract with the state’s Department of Management Services. The private correctional administrator will now operate the 985-bed Moore Haven Correctional Facility, the 985-bed Bay Correctional Facility in Panama City, and the 1,884-bed Graceville Correctional Facility.
Under these agreements, which were first awarded in October 2013, the company will manage the facilities for three years, with successive two-year renewal option periods. Total annualized revenue from the three facilities is expected to reach roughly $56 million at full occupancy.
Upon the initial notice of award in 2013, George C. Zoley, Chairman and CEO of GEO Group, expressed the company’s appreciation for the confidence placed in the firm by the Florida Department of Management Services. According to a release issued by the company on Feb. 1, Zoley was also pleased with the successful management…
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“Promising to keep private prison cells full will be illegal in Nebraska if a proposal from state Sen. Amanda McGill (D) becomes law.
McGill, who is running for higher state office this year, has introduced legislation banning the government from guaranteeing payment to private contractors regardless of the level of service the contractor provide. While that may sound so obvious as to be unnecessary, states often make those kinds of promises to corporations when they privatize public services.
The most notorious examples are private prison contracts that guarantee companies like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) a certain minimum occupancy level at prisons, and promise to pay CCA the difference should prison populations sag below that level. Such “lock-up quotas” appear in two-thirds of all prison privatization contracts, according to a report last fall by the anti-privatization group In The Public Interest (ITPI).
McGill’s legislation would ban those kinds of payment guarantees across all state contracts, but is specifically targeted at prison contracts.”*
*Read more here from Alan Pyke / Think Progress:
democracynow “Today a special on “kids for cash,” the shocking story of how thousands of children in Pennsylvania were jailed by two corrupt judges who received $2.6 million in kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities. We hear from two of the youth: Charlie Balasavage was sent to juvenile detention after his parents unknowingly bought him a stolen scooter. Hillary Transue was detained for creating a MySpace page mocking her assistant high school principal. They were both 14 years old and were sentenced by the same judge, Judge Mark Ciavarella, who is now in jail himself — serving a 28-year sentence. Balasavage and Transue are featured in the new documentary, “Kids For Cash,” by filmmaker Robert May, who also joins us. In addition, we speak to two mothers: Sandy Fonzo, whose son Ed Kenzakoski committed suicide after being imprisoned for years by Judge Ciavarella, and Hillary’s mother, Laurene Transue. Putting their stories into context of the larger scandal is attorney Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Juvenile Law Center. The story is still developing; in October, the private juvenile-detention companies in the scandal settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million…”
Originally posted on Tales from the Conspiratum:
January 14, 2014
Convicted criminals in Netherlands might start paying 16 euro ($22) per day for accommodation as the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice wants to introduce a bill aimed at reducing state jail costs.
“Convicted criminals have broken the law and received a penalty. Offenders are being asked to make a contribution… because of high costs,” the ministry said in a statement Monday.
Under the proposal, the convicts may have to pay 16 euro per day for a maximum of two years for time spent behind bars. Parents of under-aged prisoners would also be liable for the charge. The convicted would be given six weeks to pay, adds the statement.
If the bill is approved by the Netherlands’ two houses of parliament, it would become law by the end of the year.
A separate bill has been introduced by the State Secretary for…
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LA TIMES - “Gov. Jerry Brown and lawyers for state prison inmates have failed to agree on a plan to handle crowding in the state’s prisons, and the judges who ordered the two sides into talks said they would now order a solution themselves.
The judges gave Brown and the prisoners’ attorneys until Jan. 23 to file proposals for achieving “durable compliance” with population limits that are scheduled to go into effect April 18.
The federal jurists — U.S. District Judges Thelton Henderson in San Francisco and Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento, and 9th Circuit Appellate Judge Stephen Reinhardt in Los Angeles — had set last Friday as a deadline for a negotiated solution to overcrowding that they say endangers inmates’ health and safety.
But after three months of talks, “it now appears that no such agreement will be reached,” the judges said in an order released Monday.
The jurists said they would make their decision within a month, possibly extending the April deadline.
Brown said Tuesday that any deal permitting the early release of offenders would have been untenable.
“We’ve talked a lot to the prison lawyers, and I understand their job is to get people out of prison, regardless of what the law may say,” he told reporters in Bakersfield, where he stopped during a brief state tour to discuss policy issues. “My job is to protect public safety.”
The governor said he would handle any order to further lower inmate numbers by moving more prisoners to privately owned lockups and county facilities.
“We’re prepared to respond, and certainly over the next couple years to purchase more prison capacity,” Brown said.
Brown had asked the judges to delay the population caps by three years. The state budget he proposed last week assumes at least a two-year delay.
The judges’ latest order means a short delay before Brown and state lawmakers learn whether they will need to increase spending to send more prisoners to alternate facilities.
If the judges push the April deadline back to 2016, as Brown seeks, the governor proposes in his budget to direct $81 million in savings to prisoner rehabilitation programs.
Meanwhile, as the governor revealed in his budget plan, he is immediately extending eligibility for parole to more frail and elderly inmates, as well as expanding the number of some repeat offenders eligible for early release.
Those steps would make about 2,200 inmates newly eligible to be removed from the prisons, but state officials have told the court they expect only about 440 to be freed in the first six months of such changes.
California’s prison population has dropped by more than 27,000 since Brown took office. But state reports show it has been growing since June and will continue to expand in the coming years.
“We are hopeful the court will recognize that the state has made significant reforms to our criminal justice system and will allow us an extension so we can build upon these landmark reforms,” corrections spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman said.
“The role of private facilities under a new state prison reform law was among the concerns that led to the quashing of parts of the law, documents released by Gov. Mary Fallin’s office show.
Operators of private prisons in Oklahoma angled for a slice of the prison reform pie, campaigning to have their halfway houses serve as the “intermediate sanctions facilities” spelled out in the new law to handle low-level offenders who violated terms of their release.
Leaders from Avalon Correctional Services and GEO both sought meetings with the Governor’s Office and DOC officials regarding the Justice Reinvestment Initiative reforms, records show.”
Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:
Private companies such as Aramark have turned mass incarceration and misery into a lucrative business.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/PathD
This article originally appeared on Truthdig, and is reprinted here with their permission.
Shares in the Philadelphia-based Aramark Holdings Corp., which contracts through Aramark Correctional Services to provide the food to 600 correctional institutions across the United States, went public Thursday. The corporation, acquired in 2007 for $8.3 billion by investors that included Goldman Sachs, raised $725 million last week from the sale of the stock. It is one more sign that the business of locking up poor people in corporate America is booming.
Aramark, whose website says it provides 1 million meals a day to prisoners, does what corporations are doing throughout the society: It lavishes campaign donations on pliable politicians, who in turn hand out state and federal contracts to political contributors, as well as write laws…
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