“Private equity firms, one of the most powerful arms of Wall Street…With their wealthy CEOs and aggressive cost-cutting tactics aimed at delivering big returns, these firms are one of the most rapacious expressions of financial profiteering today.
“This makes it all the more alarming that private equity has a major foothold in the United States prison system. Private equity firms have nearly monopolized the market in areas like prison telecommunications. They control huge swaths of vital services like prison health care and food service. The lack of oversight around private equity, combined with the sector’s predatory tactics, has created a nightmare for captive prison populations, whose most basic needs are subjected to the whims of investors. Not surprisingly, this has produced numerous scandals and mounting lawsuits.”
“Why are the (mostly low-income) people who want to maintain a relationship with incarcerated loved ones forced to use services that charge shockingly high prices for basic communications technology? Because jails and prisons often choose their telecom providers on the basis of which company will pay the facility the most money in kickbacks. Combine the companies’ profit-seeking with the correctional facilities’ revenue-seeking, and the poorest families in the country end up paying higher rates to stay connected than anyone else.”
“While you can’t collect social security benefits while incarcerated, whether benefits are suspended or terminated depends on how long you’re there.”