Exploitation

Incarcerated people and their families are literally a captive market that private companies — with the collusion of the facilities — are all too eager to exploit. We are bringing things practices to light and fighting back.

Below is some of our key research and organizing:

report thumbnailPrison and jail telephone industry

Some children have to pay $1/minute to talk to an incarcerated parent. Why? Because prisons and jails profit by granting monopoly telephone contracts to the company that will charge families the most.

report thumbnailVideo visitation industry

Video visitation, a technology that should make it easier for families to stay in touch, is actually being used to eliminate human contact and punish families. Our research provided the first comprehensive national survey of the industry and held the video visitation industry’s promised benefits up to the harsh realities faced by families. Now in its second year, the campaign to protect in-person visits has achieved a number of important victories.


report thumbnailYou’ve Got Mail: The promise of cyber communication in prisons and need for regulation

While many facilities are still stuck in the last century, the growing number of facilities experimenting with electronic messaging are all too often providing incarcerated people and their families a product of questionable value at inflated prices.


report thumbnailRelease Cards

Correctional facilities are increasingly using fee-riddled cards to repay people they release — money in someone’s possession when initially arrested, money earned working in the facility, or money sent by friends and relatives. Before the rise of these release cards, people were given cash or a check. Now, they are instead given a mandatory prepaid card, which comes with high fees that eat into their balance. We've helped put this problem on the national agenda, and we've won some early victories.


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Events

  • April 5, 2017:
    Policy Analyst Wendy Sawyer will discuss PPI’s recent research as it relates to a community-wide reading of Orange is the New Black. 6:30-8 pm at Emily Williston Memorial Library, Easthampton, MA

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