It’s Time to Call Out Connecticut for Prison Phone Costs

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Published on May 5, 2021

If you hate the Detroit Pistons or the insane cost incarcerated individuals must shoulder just to make a phone call, have we got the piece for you! Sam sat down with Bianca Tylek of Worth Rises to learn how Tom Gores and the prison industry are making a fortune off of others’ misfortune.

This piece was produced by Amber Watson with Ishan Thakore and edited by Anthony Mascorro.

Watch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee all new Wednesdays at 10:30/ 9:30c on TBS!

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97 comments

  • r dog_animefan135 2 years ago

    First

    Reply
  • Lin Palumbo 2 years ago

    The US only works for the wealthy. If you peel back the layers there is so much corruption and predatory businesses. Capitalism obviously can build wealth and success , but it shouldn’t be predatory or built on the backs of the poorest. It would be interesting to know if the Tom Gores , the billionaire owner of the Detroit Pistons ( and owner of a

    Reply
  • New Message 2 years ago

    That “You’re a billionaire because…” thing just wrenches the gut.

    I mean, our guts. Those of us with the capacity for basic human empathy. Tom’s, though? Ehhhhhhh…

    Reply
  • Jeremy P 2 years ago

    Will County in Illinois has high phone cost also it was $8 for a 20 min phone call on top of charging 3 – 4x the regular amount for commissary

    Reply
  • just adam 2 years ago

    I sometimes wonder why America has such a distorted view of its place in the world with lobbyists corrupting politicians and voters so easily misled
    A democracy is only is good as it’s electors

    Reply
  • Chrissy Polans 2 years ago

    I love you, Sam!

    Reply
  • Dallas L 2 years ago

    It’s not just Connecticut, it’s virtually every state. I know for a fact that there are some prisons that use phone companies where you have to put money on an individual number instead of a personal account, which makes it even more difficult to communicate with someone who is incarcerated than it already is.

    Reply
  • madscientist 2 years ago

    Securus was the operator of literally every single jail phone I’ve been in, and I’ve been in a few.

    Reply
  • Teri Adorne 2 years ago

    0:27
    vol.fyi

    Reply
  • Auto DIY 2 years ago

    Sam you could do a story every week on a different billionaire, they all get there off the backs of others, usually the others that can’t afford to complain.

    Reply
  • Allie 2 years ago

    Can you please do idaho next? Kootenai county jail is ridiculous. Poor ppl can’t speak to their families, and rich ppl bond out

    Reply
  • SiriusGD 2 years ago

    The American prison system is for the profit of white Republicans.

    Reply
  • S1L3NT G4M3R 2 years ago

    Thanks SAM!!!

    Reply
  • Cassandra Smyth 2 years ago

    I used to be a part of this industry. We started out just managing payphones in general, but as those started to disappear, prisons it was! It’s literally a captive market.

    Reply
  • Alexandra Saadi 2 years ago

    As the mother of an incarcerated child… thank you for spreading the word💜

    Reply
  • nickrich56 2 years ago

    The need to monitor calls we understand, but the cost to do it shouldn’t cost $1every 3min. Ma Bell would be cheaper.

    Reply
  • SCIENCE SAVES 2 years ago

    y’all REALLY need a lighting professional working with your director of photography

    Reply
  • Philoctetes 2 years ago

    It should be illegal for any individual or entity to profit in any way from incarcerated people.

    Those whom do deserve to be tortured until the light goes from their eyes.

    This is just EVIL.

    Reply
  • george pope 2 years ago

    WELCOME TO THE G O P ,THERE MOTTO IS F### YOU ALL.

    Reply
  • Alex D 2 years ago

    Your an entertaining woman I love your content so much. Really I do ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  • Ettianne 2 years ago

    It’s is similar in Australian prisons.

    Reply
  • sanjuansteve 2 years ago

    #getALLmoneyOut from our ¨justice system¨!
    Limitless capitalist greed is a virus of the planet.

    Reply
  • K Mc 2 years ago

    Vaxxed, waxxed, hilarious Sam b

    Reply
  • Clint Frederic 2 years ago

    This is not just Connecticut. I know Wisconsin used to be $10/call from ’96-99. Thank goodness my family never said ‘No” even though mom made $7/hr and dad, not much more than that. This system is built to punish poverty, create more poverty, and demolish any support systems that are “normal” and “functional” in free society. A system that takes a parent away, but offers nothing to assist the family, goes beyond punitive. Then pay the inmate 16 cents an hour to work 35 hours in a week… so they can buy overpriced soap and razors that won’t tear skin off your face on a commissary company contracted to the prison system through the state to provide the service. It profits both from the inmates and the state itself, Keefe is a prime example… company’s like Aramark hold kitchen contracts and under-nourish populations (including juvenile detention centers) but get away with it because complaints are never heard. The system is gross. Gross. Gross.Then release the offender exactly to the same spaces they offended in, the same environment, the same lack of opportunities, and then what?.. Just add systemic racism and you wonder why an entire segment of the population is fighting for change to the status quo. It is necessary for any sort of balance of humanity to happen. End rant.

    Reply
  • Tana Darko 2 years ago

    “I could sit in the dark and do that” choked me up

    Reply
  • Sarah Buhlman 2 years ago

    It’s almost like incarceration is a “legal” form of slavery… ughhh…

    Reply
  • heywait aminute 2 years ago

    You should check out the prisons in Denmark. If there was any more humane prison system in the world, I don’t know where it is. They show the true model of what prisons should be. The Danish Government and people should be proud of themselves for their excellent work. Wish Canada would adopt such a system, maybe we wouldn’t see so many returned to the prison system.

    Reply
  • Paul 2 years ago

    All this money goes back into the staff and engineers who build and maintain prisons .

    Reply
  • Adam Franz 2 years ago

    If people are making millions or billions from putting people in prison, there will never be an incentive to cut the number of people in prison. That’s not good for human rights, and it’s not good for public safety either. It is only good for CEO in the prison industry

    Reply
  • JMFC 2 years ago

    I live, work, and vote in Conecticut. The state of Conecticut is not “getting rich” of these phone calls. The Conecticut state budget is a mess because two decades of Republican governance in from 1991 through 2011 bankrupted the state with low taxes and cuts to services. These tax cuts were paid for by not giving government workers raises and deferring compensation in the form of pensions. Now, loads of those workers have retired, CT’s on the hook for those pensions, and every time the Dems in control want to raise taxes, everyone throws a fit about how all the wealthy “job creators” and “tax payers” and parasites will leave the state.

    This isn’t an excuse for making up the shortfall in the backs of the most vulnerable populations, including prisoners and their families. But the state ain’t getting rich off it.

    Reply
  • BeLight 2 years ago

    A dollar a minute…but you just said a 15 minute phone call is $5.

    Reply
  • Big Black Weekly 2 years ago

    Samantha, would love to see you interview Sarah Hemminger of Thread…so many of your pieces get at the power of relationships…they are changing the social fabric on the ground in Baltimore for young people and the community connected with them…

    Reply
  • JessaRose Gabrielle 2 years ago

    Just another reason to leave this state

    Reply
  • Duh6666666 2 years ago

    Wow, pretty powerful stuff, WTG! Things have to change and sooner rather than later.

    Reply
  • David Pascoe 2 years ago

    Here in Kentucky Securus charges almost $8.00 every time my daughter calls me and I am the one being charged.

    Reply
  • Alicia Pettis 2 years ago

    Such an authentic and worthy cause to care about! Thanks for sharing, Sam and team!

    Reply
  • Zackery Pate 2 years ago

    more of this or you lose viewership!!

    Reply
  • Sues Anna 2 years ago

    It’s sooooo heartbreaking

    Reply
  • Marc T 2 years ago

    The american prison system is not about rehabilitation but mostly about punishment. For this, the good ole USA has the highest incidence of repeat offenders. Treat them like animals and they will remain animals

    Reply
  • Muse Tutor 2 years ago

    Please share this on your social media

    Reply
  • Egooist 2 years ago

    #PeopleOverProfits … it’s sad that you have to make sign / hash tag for something so basic …

    Reply
  • R. T.E. 2 years ago

    This is very shocking. Here in Norway, prisoners get their own room with a private bathroom, there’s internet, a library, they cook their own food with the guards, they have a music studio, gym, etc. The point is to take away their freedom as a punishment, but you don’t take away their humanity. In fact you want to keep it intact because they could be your future neighbor.

    Reply
  • R. T.E. 2 years ago

    This is very shocking. Here in Norway, prisoners get their own room with a private bathroom, there’s internet, a library, they cook their own food with the guards, they have a music studio, gym, etc. The point is to take away their freedom as a punishment, but you don’t take away their humanity. In fact you want to keep it intact because they could be your future neighbors.

    Reply
  • Fred Jacobsen 2 years ago

    NO ONE SHOULD PROFIT FROM THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS

    Reply
  • FILZ F 2 years ago

    WoW.. Mate… this was very informative, interesting and definately very entertaining! Love uR work SaMBee!! Hehe!! Ur a Bloody Legend Mate!! Thankz for sharing.. Much appreciated!! Stay Bless and Stay Safe out there!!

    Reply
  • Robert Cooper 2 years ago

    Appealing for humanity from a billionaire is barking up the wrong tree…

    Reply
  • j & a moore 2 years ago

    In the new river valley regional jail, for a 15 min call one county and 15 minutes away costs $19.48.
    1 pac of Ramen was $.89
    Deodorant was $4.90
    And all work except for the guards is done by inmates for free.
    No rehabilitation programs and visits are done by a screen. That cost money..
    The whole private jail and prison system needs reform. Our justice system shouldn’t be for profit!

    Reply
  • Laura Hubbard 2 years ago

    Cross-reference “Adam Ruins Jail.”

    Reply
  • Phoebe Hastings 2 years ago

    When is Sam Bee’s show going to get more air time? Every night of the week!

    Reply
  • B 2 years ago

    Like AOC said: nobody MAKES a billion dollars, they TAKE it.

    Reply
  • Oscar Coreo Contreras 2 years ago

    What happen to the case of the 13 year old boys shout dead by police in Chicago? Yes, the unarmed one ☝️

    Reply
  • Salty Rice 2 years ago

    You all should see Second Thought channel about prison industry

    Reply
  • Dilsad Meraler 2 years ago

    12 Years ago a very great guy I know was incarcerated by ICE in Louisiana because he stayed after his visa was expired. They chained him as if he is a criminal and put him in jail. His family was not in US. We were the only people he could speak to from jail. He was calling me twice everyday for 5-10 minutes just to be able to survive there. It’s crucial for these people to talk to someone who cares about them. We paid $600 phone bill that month instead of $50
    Of course we thought it’s worth it at the time since as this mother says there is nothing more important than that at that moment. But it’s unfair and so cruel. Just like health care in this country. If your loved one is sick they know you sell everything to save them. What a shame.

    Reply
  • Gail Gurman 2 years ago

    For a slight nuance to this, check out On the Media’s April 30th show, “War of the Words.” One of the segments features John J. Lennon who reports news from prison. He mentions that Securus provides tablets that he uses to write his articles and which he believes a public system would not be able to afford.

    Reply
  • Barry Pettit 2 years ago

    not just in CT everywhere. jail phones

    Reply
  • O. B. 2 years ago

    Being incarcerated is supposed to be the punishment for your crimes.
    Being ripped off financially is added punishment on top of that, and should not be allowed.
    But, of course,…in the US…nobody cares what should or should not be allowed – as long as it makes rich people even richer.

    Reply
  • Robyn Tippins 2 years ago

    This happens in Virginia too, almost the exact same system

    Reply
  • AnonyMouse 2 years ago

    Maybe,…and just stick with me here,…but maybe the prison industrial complex doesn’t want people of color staying out of prison once they’ve gotten out. Recidivism probably makes them easy money!

    Reply
  • verdatum 2 years ago

    That is a tiny amount of money in the grand scheme of things. Let prisoners talk. Cell phone smuggling is huge because of this.

    Reply
  • Joseph Destito 2 years ago

    I’ve known for years this country favors fraud.

    From Internet to car insurance to jail to court to school to hospitals, medical care, and medical insurance. Let alone car repairs ( how things that require maintenance are built) it’s all a scam to get you to be an unwilling subscriber to needing them.

    Reply
  • D W 2 years ago

    This is one of THE most important segments that FF has done — thank you. People need to WAKE UP to the fact that *=no one=* becomes a billionaire without exploiting others — lots and lots of others, whether it’s forcing employees to meet insane quotas at Amazon or investing in real estate (which has exploded via flipping, which prevents tens of millions from having basic security through home-ownership) or this. TAX THE RICH. HEAVILY. And invest in the poorest Americans so that that have a frikkin chance at a decent life. And END the for-profit prison and “health” systems.

    Reply
  • circle A 2 years ago

    This is sad

    Reply
  • T Johnson 2 years ago

    The United States is a horrific country.

    Reply
  • Barb Klein 2 years ago

    I totally support making it illegal to profit so much on phone calls or even at all on phone calls between inmates and their families. What I really want to know is what was in those glasses because it looked like lemon Gatorade or something! 🙂

    Reply
  • Jennie Kreiner 2 years ago

    It’s being a decent human being

    Reply
  • Travis Cutler 2 years ago

    Torturing poor people is the American way……….

    Reply
  • Jodi Major 2 years ago

    In Michigan, it costs more for in state calls than long distance. I pay $15 for fifteen minutes to speak to my daughter a mile away in county jail.

    Reply
  • Seymour Butts 2 years ago

    You don’t have to work hard to become successful all you have to do is rip people off. With the states help of course.

    Reply
  • The Rad Fems 2 years ago

    Under the shareholder supremacy doctrine, this behavior is not only valid, anything less than absolute exploitation of inelastic demand is essentially fraud. Prisons should be *”houses of correction”* not be _profit centers:_ 4:31

    Reply
  • J DMMG 2 years ago

    👍👍👍

    Reply
  • Jim Heeren 2 years ago

    Remind me again. Why are American prisons made for profit torture dungeons. What happened to this whole bring people back to society thing

    Reply
  • L. A. Gothro 2 years ago

    I’m wondering what this has to do with the Detroit Pistons…? Ahhhh, now I know – and I hope they do as badly as the Detroit Lions do in their sport!

    Reply
  • Lady Grey 2 years ago

    Algorithm engagement comment because I like this.

    Reply
  • tiny99990 2 years ago

    I don’t think this in anyway gets said enough… … … PRIVATELY OWNED PRISONS DO *NOT* WANT TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM, THEY WANT TO *INCREASE* RECIDIVISM BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM MORE MONEY AND THATS THE WHOLE POINT OF PRIVATE PRISONS.

    And no I am not sorry I yelled it, I will stop yelling it when it is commonly pointed out and private prisons are done away with

    Reply
  • Brett Clark 2 years ago

    Booooo get off the stage oh wait

    Reply
  • Admiralty86 2 years ago

    I’m paying $3 to connect and $0.17 per minute, $25 goes quite a ways but still a rip off compared to what we could easily have which is a “competitive free-market driven prices that naturally create better products at cheaper prices” like the GOP is always preaching, why do I get the feeling GOP would never stand with any organization that demands cheaper prison calls? Because they would dump their free-market ideals in a heartbeat if it meant oppressing inmates many of whom are minorities.

    Reply
  • Brizzle the Stitcher 2 years ago

    I just had a realization; isn’t it strange there are different prisoners that have committed different types of crimes but they’re all being punished the same way? Like, someone who sold marijuana in a state that’s illegal vs. a murderer. Both of them end up in the same prison receiving the same treatment.

    …should that change?

    Reply
  • gibbontake it 2 years ago

    There are currently 18 thumbs down that need breaking…

    Reply
  • * BeckStar * 2 years ago

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I live in CT and I can attest to this. And yes, that’s EXACTLY how prison calls work and they cost 5.00 for 15 minutes. You only allow 5 calls a day and interrupt you constantly!! It’s terrible.

    Reply
  • macewenart 2 years ago

    Why is Connecticut special? Same thing in every state!

    Reply
  • Patricia Murfitt 2 years ago

    In Indiana it’s GEO they are making a fortune. Prisoners can’t be fed decent food, charged for everything they need and of course not a bunch of actual rehab or education.

    Reply
  • Brooke Gaskin 2 years ago

    it’s a real racket and the family suffers for it. and then you start feeling guilty for wanting to hear the voice of some one you love because they can’t afford it.

    Reply
  • DND SoundEFX 2 years ago

    America home of the free with the highest incarceration population

    Reply
  • Mr. Bongs BurgH 2 years ago

    Pennsylvania prison callings are 18.00 for 15 min local outa state 24 for 15, and that’s neighbors states

    Reply
  • Ed 865 2 years ago

    Tom Gores… you mean there’s another corrupt evil person in Detroit than Kendra Lust? Can you cowards believe that. (By the way cowards she did ask to me marry based upon that 7 year old IG profile you constantly reference because you cowards legally need to hide behind something…😏😉😙).

    Reply
  • Ralph Munn 2 years ago

    “The Land of the Free” is both highly incarcerated and hugely expensive.

    Reply
  • Kickback Relax 2 years ago

    Good video! You do better journalism than all the MSM combined!

    Reply
  • mrduckman225 2 years ago

    Good work Sam

    Reply
  • MaskedMarvyl 2 years ago

    Just when you thought you had heard every story of the richest squeezing the poorest and most vulnerable while criticizing them for being poor…..

    Reply
  • Liz Vogt 2 years ago

    Keep up the excellent reporting. This information is too well hidden. I love your format – serious but comical – it lets me think but not be overwhelmingly depressed.

    Reply
  • Cade Britt 2 years ago

    It will,never happen where Republicans can get their hands on the money.

    Reply
  • Grogery 1 2 years ago

    Prisons have no interest in reforming inmates. Their business model is dependent on repeat customers

    Reply
  • CC 2 years ago

    Nothing is going to get done unless everybody knows about this scam. Forward this to everybody. Are these crooks paying taxes on all this daily windfall?
    When big money like this is being skimmed, there are kickbacks. Department of Justice should be looking into where the money is going,

    Another big racket….unclaimed money. Some states have billions. Thing about dead is…….tendency is to keep being dead.
    They try to notify people with unclaimed money by setting up a booth at the State Fair. The state has a fair.?
    This would be a blockbuster story…..out a Comptroller.

    Reply
  • Sophia Wilson 2 years ago

    The money for the phone calls et al should go to help the victims and their families.

    Reply
  • Ellen Klein 2 years ago

    Ah yes. I live in southern California and Securus loves to overcharge prisoners and their family/friends here for phone calls. That phone time money gets used up real quick. It’s bs.

    Reply
  • Uthman Baksh 2 years ago

    This is yet another example of how it is expensive to be poor in America.

    Reply
  • Jim Hitch 2 years ago

    No doubt Tom makes generous donations to politicians. Maybe free tickets to games too.

    Reply

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