Many of you probably buy into the Government and Media portray life in prisons. Free food, free lodging, free gym, televisions, computers, and a number of other things. Think again.
I recently talked to a family with a member in prison. This is what I learned.
Travel time for the children to visit their father, (all agree he is a very good father). They understand why he is there. But travel time is approximately 2.75 hours each way. Although there are facilities within 1 hour or less. At the current price of gas $3 plus, and at 26 mpg. the cost for gas alone is about $30 x 2 times a month equal $60 a month just for gas. But that is probably the smallest cost to the family.
They can not call him. He has to call them. (when the prison officials decide it is okay. Very sporadic. When he calls it has to go through a company contracted by the prison. These calls usually cost approximately $5 to connect and 80+ cents a minute. An average call can cost about $21 one call twice a a month equals $42. Add the phone calls to the trips and you have $102 a month. (The prison also makes money on this deal).
Then you have the television thing. In order to have a TV, it must be BOUGHT from the prison. They saved money to buy him a TV. A little over $300 for as described you can buy at Best Buy for $89. What does this teach the inmate. Take advantage of people whenever possible
Food. The food served is low grade and barely meets the Required Daily Allowance. Usually served very bland as they have to watch diets for all prisoners. If you are like me there are certain foods I will not eat. I’m sure the prisoners are the same way. So you do without.
They do have a commissary where prisoners can buy hot plates and food to fix in their cells. All this at HIGHLY inflated cost. An example would be a can of HORMEL chili. You have seen them the individual serving type like you open and microwave for lunch. Only there they cost about $5 each. A candy bar may cost you between 60 cents and $1, there they pay may pay anywhere from $1.25 to $2.00. All this, mind you, the prison is making money on.
So you would not want your family member to do without these little things, so you deposit money in their account, to purchase these things. Want them to write you? You guessed it you have to send money for paper, envelopes, pens, or pencils, and postage. At an inflated rate. Then they usually don’t put enough postage on the letter and you have to run to the post office to pay extra.
Now here is the real kicker. Although you pay for the TV and other things. The prison officials have the right to confiscate any and all thing in a cell at their discretion. One family has bought at least 3 TVs, They don’t get them back. Where did they go?
To wrap up. You can see it is the family who pays for all these things, not the CITY, COUNTY, STATE, or Federal government. The family is being ripped off, just to provide a few comforts. And don’t think you wouldn’t do it. If you were in their place you would too. It is only human nature to care for family. Unless your family is disfunctional .
What does this teach the inmate. Cheating people is OKAY if you have authority.
That Is How I See It.