It’s not difficult to understand that the families of people who commit crimes across the country are usually in the lower socioeconomic strata. There is a prevailing sense that if you are poor in this country, the only way you can make money is to scam it or steal it. Many of the people who try to scam or steal get caught and thrown into prison. But the scamming and stealing does not stop there.
You’re probably unfamiliar with the company Global Tel-Link. According to PrisonTalk Forums, they are a $500 million per year telecommunications company. But you’re not going to contract them to provide you with Internet service or phone. They only exist to provide telephone services to prisoners inside the prison and their families. And they have a bigger scam (watch this YouTube video) going than any of the convicts ever did. And here you can find the plight of poor families with loved ones in prison.
Global Tel-Link is the only way for these families to communicate with their loved ones on the inside. Global Tel-Link ensures this by getting government contracts to provide telephone service while promising that same government kickbacks in the form of commissions off every call. The price is then passed on to the families of the prisoners with calls costing well over one dollar per minute.
This kind of squeeze can really crush a lower socioeconomic family. Many families cannot even afford to set up an account with Global Tel-Link, and the unfortunate few that do have to deal with terrible customer service and calls that are often dropped. This is a stunning example of corporate welfare, where the government outsources services with exclusive contracts to make certain companies wealthy by ensuring a lack of competition. It’s just another example in the United States of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Visit https://action.aclu.org/global-tel and see what you can do.