D Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: Inmates, Families the Losers in Prison Phone Bill Scam

The older I get, the more I am convinced that America is a country in which the majority of its citizens are consumed by greed. We want more things than we need or could possibly use. We want things bigger, bolder, longer, wider, more expensive and for some of us, nothing can quell our desires. This seems to be particularly true in the business world. Certainly, I understand the importance, even the necessity, of making a profit. But making a profit, particularly exorbitant ones, on the backs of the least, the last and the lost is something that I cannot condone.

That’s why I can’t fathom why Congress won’t take up the cause led by Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) to amend the powers of the FCC so that they, under a revised Communications Act, would have the ability to put a cap on prison phone rates. At present, the FCC only has the authority to regulate calls between states, not within a state. Why should we care? If someone you love is currently behind bars, you can probably answer my question.

These so-called correctional facilities bargain with service providers seeking to secure the greatest percentage of the providers profits. To increase the profit margin, the U.S. facilities and the service carriers with whom they partner, charge prisoners rates that are ridiculously and unreasonably high. They pad their pockets on the backs of the inmates — men and women who are already paying a hefty price for their crimes — freedom. But the families also lose. I remember a dear friend spending about a year in jail — a year that I also felt like I was imprisoned — or maybe it was just my wallet that felt out of my grasp.

I don’t know if such a practice, unethical in my assessment, could be described as “cruel and unusual punishment,” but it sure comes close. It’s already hard enough when one must pay their dues behind bars — separated from their loved ones. But to make it cost prohibitive for them to have even an occasional telephone call — that’s simply too much.

Let’s just cite this as another example of Greed American Style.

Tags
Show More

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker