The Department of Corrections makes millions off the families of those incarcerated. Yet, they come up with new ways to make more. Inmates at Montana State Prison can no longer receive bibles that are donated to the chapel or from an outside publisher/bookstore. They now are mandated to have family put money in their account and pay over $60 for a bible. That is an outrageous price. Why can’t they have free ones that are donated to the chapel? Because it does not bring in revenue? They implement new programs of what they will or will not allow. There is talk about changing the little 7 inch tv’s that are bought for $150 dollars. They will sell 13 inch tv’s for $200 dollars. When that happens they usually make the inmate send the other one home and they have to buy the new one. Even if they just bought the 7 inch one a week before the change. If it is not sent home they are confiscated and either sold at the hobby shop or guards take them home.
Also, there is phone system that is used called Telemate. It is suppose to save money. It is still about $5-$6 dollars a call for 30 minutes or less. Not only that, there seems to be higher charges at other times. It adds up very quickly and does not make sense. So, I called Telemate to verify this. This is what the representative had to say. They go by area codes. It can change the rates. I asked if I could get a copy of the billing (just like any other telephone company) they told me that they could not do that. Only an inmate could request that. I said “okay, how about the inmate requests it….such as a husband inmate for his wife to evaluate. since families are the ones that has to put the money on the account.” “The reply was…..”Ummmm, no, that cannot be done. You would need to get a subpeona for that information.” Are you serious? Money that the family is being charged, and they can’t let you see the billing without a subpeona? Is this what we are going to have to do in the future for all of our bill’s to see what we are actually being charged?
As you can see from the other article that I re-blogged Families are already spending $1.5 million for inmates in Montana alone. They keep looking for ways to squeeze blood out of a turnip.
A young lady at the Law and Justice Committee testified that her husband was sentenced to prison for stealing a case of beer. That cost under $17 dollars. He has been in the system now 6 years. She then reported the thousands upon thousands of dollars this has cost the taxpayers of Montana for welfare for her and her children and the thousands it has cost to house her husband. Thousands compared to under $17.
What do you think Montana? Are you happy about your taxpayer money that is going for this kind of stuff when it could help feed your children, pay your household bills, do a few of things that you cannot afford to do? Let’s start using some common sense. This money is lining someone else’s pocket, but it’s not for the families in Montana. Montanans deserve better than this.