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Evercom-Correctional Billing Services Complaint - Profits from prisoners

Review by 420rainbow on 2010-05-29
Regardless of the crime, no intity should be allowed to profit from the families of prisoners. We are not the cause for their indiscretions, but we are made to pay and pay dearly. I've spent over 1000.00 in two months
to Evercom. After going to my local jails website, I find that they are set to make an additional 25,000.00 in commission from phone calls to inmates by switching phone providers.
And yes we could and do write letters. I wish people wouldn't assume everyone that's incarcerated has committed a crime against someone or society. The state of California turns hardworking, tax paying citizens into "criminals" on a daily basis. The industry cannot survive otherwise.
We spend over 25,000 annually to house a prisoner and only 11,000 to educate a child. Something is wrong with the system.
Comments:26 Replies - Latest reply on 2013-06-25
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-05-29:
You spent that money by choice. These companies kick back a portion of their profits to the prisons, which can lower what the tax payers pay to feed, cloth and house convicts.

That 25K you mention saves ME money---I am all for it. Prisoners get free medical care, college courses, etc. Many things every day tax payers cant afford, yet we are forced to pay for criminals to enjoy these things.
Posted by Skye on 2010-05-29:
OP, I agree, there is something wrong with the system. I'm sorry you have a loved one in jail. Have you tried to contact your state attorney general? There are so many complaints against this company, and its the family members that are being punished with such crazy high fee's.
Posted by yoke on 2010-05-29:
I am sorry you have a loved one in jail, but it is your decision to make the phone calls, nobody is forcing you. While you are complaining about how expensive your phone bill is just remember my hard earned taxes are paying for your loved one to have a roof over their head, 3 meals a day, cable, internet, etc.
Posted by Ponie on 2010-05-29:
I don't quite understand this statement:

'I wish people wouldn't assume everyone that's incarcerated has committed a crime against someone or society.'

How can someone be incarcerated if they haven't committed a crime? Even if it's a non-violent crime like failure to pay child support--it's still a crime.

It's unfortunate you know someone who is jailed, but I agree with the other posts here.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-05-29:
ponie

all i can think of is the line from shawshank redemption where... every man in the prison claimed to be innocent and that the "judge screwed me" etc


i'd say if phone bills are too high there's always USPS
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-05-29:
Profits come from everyone, not just prisoners.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-30:
"The state of California turns hardworking, tax paying citizens into "criminals" on a daily basis." Could the OP please clarify this? As for the telephone service making a profit; your loved one is in there being housed and fed on someone else's dime. I think it proper the people don't have to afford telephone calls for prisoners as well, no matter the crime. I feel bad for you because you've committed no crime, but I would never elect to afford anything but the basics for people behind bars when a school aged child sits in overcrowded classrooms because of laid off teachers, reading fifteen year old texts, and using antiquated technology because we skirt more money to prisons than we do to education.
Posted by Alain on 2010-05-30:
You can contact the prison Ombudsman's Office for some advice on this at 914-445-1773 (general number).
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-05-30:
+100 sherdy
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-30:
I'm just giving the reality of it. It costs, on average, 40K a year to house one prisoner. It costs the state, on average, 6K to educate one child. $11 of the state lottery goes toward one child. In Ohio, to date, over 1000 teachers are being laid off. Cleveland Public thinks 45 students to 1 teacher is a doable ratio. Whatever.
Posted by Alain on 2010-05-30:
Now 52K in California.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-05-30:
I agree, sherdy. here in central Ohio there are kids going to school hungry every day because they dont quite qualify for assistance. Yet fools in prison get three squares, a warm bed to sleep in, free school, free medical, etc.

Something is VERY wrong with our system when we treat prisoners better than children.
Posted by Starlord on 2010-05-30:
I served as a Correctional Service Officer in the early 80's in Arizona, And I find your comment that everyone assumes people are incarcerated who have not committed a crime. It is a fact that before a person is incarcerated, they usually got theouhe system several times, and the reason they end up in prison is because they cannot control themselves to meet the requirements of society. In addition, 85% of inamtes are there because they plead oput rather than go to trial. The other 15% went to trial and were found guilty. Your nic tells me a lot, maybe unintentionally. 420 is some kinmd of code for marijuana user while rainbow is the emblem for same sex people. Oh, and the word is entity, not intity.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-05-30:
interesting point star.

One of the guys from my second ship went that route. Although he could have asked family (his own admission) for financial help he chose to steal instead. Got kicked out of the workcenter (before i ever got on board so at least early 2005 or sooner).

Then he got kicked out of the navy.

And he didn't stop.

Then he got caught. Premeditated armed robbery x 5, and he would text the victims afterwards to convince them to not go to court.

According to the article I read his mom is upset that he didn't appeal the sentence... but I can't help but think... he had 4 years to stop. But he didn't. he chose his actions and now that he got in trouble for it he's apologetic? O_o
Posted by dez n peter on 2010-06-11:
everybody is entitled to their opinion, and this is mine. I am researching phone companies who can provide calling service for a cheaper bill. I have a loved one in prison and so it up to me to chose what I want to do in terms of getting in touch with him. Evercom isnt the only option. I am simply not willing to pay that much for phone calls. Not everybody in the system is a criminal no matter what you all say, and Im not saying that just because I have a loved one in prison. Everybody should be able to use calling services at a reasonable cost because it is a service to all people, no one is restricted to the right to communicate with others via telephone. As for taxes being spent on them, everybody has the obligation to pay taxes, they are used for alot of things wheter good or bad to your personal view, if taxes are obliged to everyone then it should be utilized for everyone.
Posted by Alain on 2010-06-11:
You can send an e-mail or letter to your State Representative about this, too.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-06-11:
dez, well written, but,
phone is a privilege, not a right, write letters.
I truly believe that, after serving the time and upon release, an inmate should be responsible for paying back at least a part of their incarceration. Be it a monthly payment, volunteer work or some other way.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-06-12:
jkt, I could not agree with you more. Restitution should always include paying back a portion of the money spent to feed, cloth and house the convict.

I also agree it can be in the form of payments, community service, SOMETHING.
Posted by 420rainbow on 2010-06-14:
To Starlord: Thanks for pointing out my spelling, you should proof read your posts too. As for my "nic", haven't you heard about what happens when you assume something? My Birthday is 4/20 and I have been a rainbow lover since I was a little girl. Now let me ask you a question: How much is your retirement? I bet its more than the median income for your area and most others. The Prison Industry Authority and the Correctional Officers Union are two of the reasons the state of California is broke and it is going to stay broke until something is done about the failed policies that we continue to enforce and incarcerate for.
How many of you with negative comments have spent the night in jail or prison or had a friend or family member there? I would say none of you otherwise you would not be making the comments you make.
In February of 2009 Federal judges ordered the state od California to release 55,000 inmates by 2012 because of over crowding. The prisons hold twice the people they were designed for. The Federal judges decided this constitutes a "cruel and unusual" punishment and is a violation of the inmates constitutional rights. For those of you who think it's ok to lock up "dead beat" dads, I'd rather have them in some kind of work program. It's kind of hard to pay for child support when you are locked up. It's also hard to look for a job when you don't have a drivers license either. We spend more money looking for and locking up these guys than we gave welfare to the mothers of their children.
If we don't wise up soon there won't be any tax payers because we'll all be in jail or prison. Did you know that only 53% of Americans currently pay federal taxes?
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-06-14:
rainbow, to answer your question, I have had several family members in jail---some for a good length of time.

You can rail at 'the man" all you want. Wont change the fact that criminals are criminals and tax payers are tired of supporting them.

When kids go to school hungry because they are on the edge of qualifying for assistance while cons get three squares, that's a problem.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-06-14:
"How many of you with negative comments have spent the night in jail or prison or had a friend or family member there?"

How is not going to jail suddenly a mark against someone?

again, phones are not rights, they're privileges.
however there's always the USPS. It just takes more effort than phone.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-14:
420rainbow, A good many of the people who comment on here are totally callous and quite frankly lack the empathy a rock enjoys. I highly suggest you not continue this interaction because trust me the responses will only be more of the same.

I wish you all the best and I certainly can understand your frustration with Evercom. You'd be far better off bantering this issue in a different type forum where you'll at least get some understanding. Take care.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-14:
"Everybody's innocent in here"...Shawshank Redemption

Yes, there are a few innocent individuals in jail. But the Evercom is an optional privilege, and one isn't forced to use it. It is by choice, and so if you use it, pay for it. If one cannot afford it, don't use them.
Posted by jmom242 on 2010-06-16:
I came on here to check Evercom's record. Now I won't sign up. Will make a drive instead and a call to the prison's chaplain and medical personnel. My son fought for our freedom and ever since his return, thanks for no help from the Army for his PTSD, he has coped by other means. These helped land him in jail. To those that want to complain about "our prisoner's" please find someplace else to complain. I have spent thousands of my own money trying to deal with the PTSD from watching his buddy get blown up. And as far as Evercom or any of these other type companies that are "screwing" the families out of money, I will wait for the day that the one ticked off prisoner gets released and takes a trip to Irving for costing his family so much money. Sad but it could happen.
Posted by goduke on 2010-06-16:
I disagree that they are screwing families out of money. In the past, the calls that prisoners had to make were collect. Prisoners were never able to accept incoming calls, they could only make outgoing collect calls. These outfits essentially standardize the collect call business, and their rates are right in line with what you'd pay for collect calls (although I've never understood why collect calls had to be so darned expensive). It doesn't in any way excuse bad service (nothing ever does), though.

I thank you and your son for his service to the country, and I'm sorry he didn't get the medical care he needed. I hope things get better for you folks.
Posted by dave on 2013-06-25:
you have a right to make one phone call

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