Across the United States, hundreds of jails have eliminated in-person family visits over the last decade. Why has this happened? The answer highlights a profound flaw in how decisions too often get made in our legal system: for-profit jail telecom companies realized that they could earn more profit from phone and video calls if jails eliminated free in-person visits for families. So the companies offered sheriffs and county jails across the country a deal: if you eliminate family visits, we’ll give you a cut of the increased profits from the larger number of calls. This led to a wave across the country, as local jails sought to supplement their budgets with hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from some of the poorest families in our society.

  • vortic
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    21 days ago

    Prisoners shouldn’t need to pay to talk with their families. We claim that our system is intended for rehabilitation. What could possibly lead to better outcomes than the ability to keep in touch with your family; to be made to feel human while serving your sentence? The US justice system is a fucking joke and for-profit prison shareholders are the only ones laughing.

    Incarceration should have no profit motive, regardless of whether that profit motive benefits a for-profit company and its shareholders or the local Sheriff’s department.

    • @M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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      5221 days ago

      We claim that our system is intended for rehabilitation.

      News to me, I did not know you guys claimed that.

      • @Blackmist@feddit.uk
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        2821 days ago

        The 13th amendment claims otherwise, in fact.

        Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

      • vortic
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        1221 days ago

        It’s what our politicians claim the system is for. It’s obviously not, but that’s the claim.

        • @M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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          1421 days ago

          From an outsider view I did not even know that your politicians claimed that, I thought it was just a few more hopeful ones saying it should be that. I always assumed it was common knowledge that the system in the US was for punishment and whatnot first. Might just be me seeing the movie “Tank!” as a child.

        • @M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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          420 days ago

          Yeah, the US has way to many “bad people” per capita for that to have ever made any sense.

  • DessertStorms
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    8922 days ago

    The answer highlights a profound flaw in how decisions too often get made in our legal system

    The fact that the author, despite them providing all of this evidence to the contrary, still thinks (or is at least reporting) that this is a bug, not a feature, is absolutely enraging.

  • Panda (he/him)
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    2821 days ago

    Breaking news: Making the correctional system a business venture was a bad idea. More at 8.

    • @PresidentCamacho@lemm.ee
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      520 days ago

      Yeah, just wait until our entire system inevitably folds in on itself and destroys the economies of the world in the process. Hopefully I outlast american entropy.

  • @Chee_Koala@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    Wow, so when they enjoyed unlimited power, they… Abused it!?

    People now a days are really off the rails man. Back in the day, absolute power didn’t corrupt. It only tickled. Slightly.

    /s

    • @shneancy@lemmy.world
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      421 days ago

      back in the day? you mean the stone ages?

      there is not a day in written history where we can’t read about a person corrupted by power

      • @Chee_Koala@lemmy.world
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        521 days ago

        Very true, shneancy. It was a sarcastic reaction, it seemed so obvious te me but the internet is ofc very versatile and casts a wide net.

        • @Mango@lemmy.world
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          -1321 days ago

          Would you feel inclined to do some blatantly corrupt shit in a world full of armed people who have the hated for unfairness that chimpanzees do? Naw, you do that in a country where the extra income is a huge shield between you and the people who would otherwise kill you for such top shelf abuse.

          • @Landmammals@lemmy.world
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            21 days ago

            You’re describing an alternate reality where heavily armed people are able to recognize corruption and rally against it. The most hate-filled, firearm fanatics I know of have Trump 2024 signs in their yard. And they’re waiting with bated breath for an excuse to murder any person who says they should have the right to health Care.

            The people with the most guns are the ones with the least brains.

  • @IvanOverdrive@lemm.ee
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    22 days ago

    I read about this in Cory Doctorow’s The Bezzle. I’m surprised it didn’t get more traction in the press.

    • @TheFriar@lemm.ee
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      521 days ago

      You are? Challenging the status quo isn’t really the press’ thing anymore—or, like, ever.

    • @StineD@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      421 days ago

      I’m reading it right now, and I honestly thought it was something he made up as a near-future dystopian plot point. Didn’t realize that it was real…

  • @electric_nan
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    22 days ago

    Indescribable pain to those responsible.

    • @PlantDadManGuy@lemmy.world
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      -120 days ago

      I’m very curious about the first part of your statement. Do you believe in an eye for an eye, literally chopping off fingers for thieves, immediate forgiveness for repentance, or just execution?

      • @stratoscaster@lemmy.world
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        620 days ago

        People are in prisons for insanely stupid reasons, why shouldn’t the people abusing them for their own gain not deserve punishment?

        Even theft is a whole different ballgame than actual indentured servitude and abuse of power.

        • @JasonDJ@lemmy.zip
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          420 days ago

          Who cares about theft?

          Wage theft in the US totals approximately 50 billion dollars per year. That’s more than all burglaries, robberies, and car thefts, combined.

          That’s one white-collar crime. How many people behind bars stand convicted of it?

      • Panda (he/him)
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        21 days ago

        After Trevor Noah left The Daily Show and Colbert started pandering to liberal middle-aged white women after his move to CBS, I feel like Oliver is the only bearable talk show host on network television these days.

        Honorable mention to Kimmel, though. He’s not a revolutionary, but he’s pretty funny.

        • @solarbabies@lemmy.world
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          320 days ago

          Trevor Noah? you mean Jon Stewart?

          Noah was smart but I never had fun watching him. He was too serious, and his delivery of the punchy low-blow jokes the writers gave him were never satisfying in the way Stewart somehow fills me with rage and makes me chuckle at the absurdity of it.

          don’t even get me started on Jimmy Kimmel… the guy is a very talented actor with no brains, no real opinions and thinks absolutely everything is hilarious. I’d rather watch water boil than listen to his childish version of comedy. his writers do all the work, he’s a parrot with just enough brains to land the jokes and not enough to question the interests of his corporate media overlords.