Two vendors, Secrus and ViaPath, own 79 percent of the $1.4 billion carceral telecom market.
Each year, over 4,000 private corporations generate $80 billion by exploiting incarcerated people’s need to stay in contact with their loved ones and access medical care, quality food, and hygiene products. Through consolidations, conglomerates have reduced competition and have been able to charge high fees to incarcerated people and their families. In addition, cross-sector consolidations allow them to bundle multiple services under one contact with detention facilities, making it harder to hold them accountable for exploitative practices. This report calls on the Biden-Harris Administration to eliminate carceral profiteering in the federal prison system and provides a blueprint for seven areas where the federal government can make policy changes. The seven areas include healthcare, food and commissary, telecommunications, financial services, electronic monitoring, and labor. President Biden has previously committed to stopping corporations from profiteering off of incarceration and ensuring racial equity.
You can read the full text here.
- End the federal use of private prisons for federal immigration detention facilities.
- Require the Bureau of Prison to publish a comprehensive review of all services that incarcerated people or their families are charged for.
- Prohibit payments by carceral vendors to all federal agencies.
- Eliminate medical copays and ensure all medications administered by detention facilities are free of charge.
- Prohibit commissary markups and provide products at costs.
- Make communication free for incarcerated people and their loved ones and guarantee a minimum allowance of 120-minute calls per person per day.
- Eliminate all fees associated with ankle monitors or electronic monitoring.