Jails and prisons in every state obtain communication-related services for inmates - from phone use to tablet email to commissary funding - from a private provider.
These services can involve fees at multiple steps along the way, creating additional charges when money is transferred into an account or when a call is connected, and can influence policy considerations that affect the wellbeing of inmates, their families, and communities.
Earlier this year, North Carolina’s state prisons implemented a policy to limit prisoners’ ability to receive money from those who aren’t on a list of approved visitors.
“This practice has been implemented in other state correctional agencies and has proven to be a sound method of deterring illicit acts as it relates to goods and services for monetary exchange,” Kenneth Lassiter, Director of Prisons for the NC Department of Public Safety, wrote in a January 2th, 2019 memo.
Today, MuckRock is filing requests with the NC DPS as well as sheriffs’ offices in each of the state’s counties to learn more about the commissions these agencies are receiving for communication services and their policies around them.
You can browse the requests via the map below and receive updates on new responses by hitting the “follow” button on a request page.
Have an experience with prison communications you’d like to share? Let us know via the form below.
Image via Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office