, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Prisons are full of insidious things but one of the most infuriating is that incarcerated people have to pay money to make a phone call. All the research we have says maintaining family ties reduces the likelihood of coming back & yet the system makes it as difficult as possible.
Today when I left class at the jail, one of the guys told me about how he doesn't even bother using the phones bc he would have to ask his family for money he knows they don't have. But as a result, he feels disconnected from them bc they don't talk often. It's all so backwards.
On any given day, 3 out of 4 people in jail *haven't been convicted of any crime.* Phone calls are often how they sort of their legal defense. But if you can't afford to make a call in the first place, it increases the likelihood of getting inadequate legal representation.
The Missouri State Public Defenders told the FCC the costs “reduces our ability to communicate with our clients about their cases, diminishes the quality of representation we are able to provide, and thus risks denying clients their Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel.”
Making this whole thing even more insidious is the fact that jails get kickbacks, basically a commission, for these phone calls. In Michigan, family members of incarcerated people paid more than $24 million in kickbacks.

In a state like Kentucky, it costs $5.70 to make a 15 minute call. If you're a family living in poverty, as if the case with most of the people incarcerated in this country, that cost is astronomical.
I bring this up just because it's one of those small things many people don't even know about when it comes to our justice system. Something as simple as a phone call in prison can often be impossible & that ha an immense impact on whether someone is able to ever get out.
A lot of folks are asking for more resources. The best place to go is @PrisonPolicy. They’ve been studying the injustice of the prison phone system for years.

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