The Criminal Cost of Talking to a Loved One Behind Bars

Leticia Miranda reports for Colorlines: “When Martha Wright’s grandson was moved to a prison outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., she didn’t expect that a short 5-minute conversation with him could cost up to $18. . . . Prisoners can usually call home in two ways: they can call collect or use a debit card issued by the prison. Debit cards are usually the cheaper options, but they’re not available in all states and still costly. In March, Wright’s grandson didn’t have enough money on his card for their usual phone calls, so they only spoke about three minutes one week, she says. That call cost $18, including taxes.”