by Ed Lyon
Until February 18, 2020, it cost pre- and post-trial detainees in the Dallas County, Texas jails .24¢ per minute to speak to their families on the phone. Urged by criminal justice reform groups and the citizenry, the Dallas County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to forgo any and all profit-sharing in the jail’s phone system, operated by Carrollton, Texas-based Securus Technologies, in exchange for a reduction in calling costs to .01¢ per minute. This move will cost the county $2.4 million in yearly revenue.
Another positive change will be making electronic tablets available to the county jail’s population. It will cost detainees $5 per month to rent a tablet with educational programming included.
Movies, music and video games will be available for 99¢ to $12.99 per item. Incoming e-mail messages will be free. It will cost 24¢ for a prisoner to send responses.
Sheriff Marian Brown was initially worried about tablet monitoring and usage capabilities. Securus Technologies assuaged Brown’s trepidations, assuring her the only outreach possible will be to the ultra-secure Securus intranet — and then only when the tablets are docked at stations located outside of the prisoners’ cells overnight.
Sheriff Brown has opted for a positive, common sense approach to e-tablet introduction in her jails.
Using a “slow roll out,” she will use the ‘carrot and stick’ method for access to the privilege. She stated, “You know you have to behave yourself if you’re going to use the tablet. If you’re not behaving yourself, then of course you don’t get the tablet.”
Sheriff Brown, welcome to the 21st century!
Sources: dallasnews.com, dallasobserver.com
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login
More from this issue:
- What’s Justice Got to Do with It?, by Doran Larson
- From the Editor, by Paul Wright
- Can the Pandemic Undermine Mass Incarceration?, by Jayson Hawkins
- Animal Shelters Provide Cooler Temperatures Than Florida Prisons in Summer, by David Reutter
- North Carolina Criticized for Prisoner Transfers During Pandemic, by Edward Lyon
- Report: Arkansas Let Asymptomatic Prison Employees Infected with Coronavirus Continue to Work, by David Reutter
- $550,000 Settlement in Georgia Prisoner’s Starvation Death, by David Reutter
- COVID-19 in Hawaii’s Lockups: Still a Success Story but Cracks Starting to Show, by Edward Lyon
- Disabled Detainee at Cook County Jail Wins Class Certification in Lawsuit, by David Reutter
- The Latest News on How to Protect Yourself From Infection, by Michael D. Cohen, MD
- Prisons Banning Black Culture and History Books, by Edward Lyon
- ICE Deportations Fueling Spread of COVID-19 to Latin American Countries, by Dale Chappell
- Jails and Prisons Have Reduced Their Populations in the Face of the Pandemic, but Not Enough To Save Lives, by Peter Wagner, Emily Widra
- The Prison Was Built to Hold 1,500 Inmates. It Had Over 2,000 Coronavirus Cases, by Dara Lind
- How Long Can You Hide a Dead Body in a Prison Cell?, by Keri Blakinger
- Interview: Jodie Sinclair on Her New Book, “Love Behind Bars”, by Ken Silverstein
- Interview: Corene Kendrick on How the Prison Litigation Reform Act Strips Prisoners of Legal Rights, by Ken Silverstein
- Pay Up or Lockup: Housing Shortage Kept Cash-Poor Parolees Behind Bars, by Ike Swetlitz
- Colorado Explores Ending Private Prisons, by Jayson Hawkins
- Ohio Jails Under Investigation, by Jayson Hawkins
- San Francisco Eliminates Fees on Jail Phone Calls, by Mark Wilson
- Maine DOC, Medical Provider, Pay $250,000 Settlement Due to Excessive Force on 11-Year-Old, by Mark Wilson
- Consultants Advising Rich on Prison Life, by Kevin Bliss
- Wisconsin: Court Dismisses Prisoners’ Suit Over Asbestos, Mold on Procedural Grounds, by Chad Marks
- Does Increased Guard Violence Mean Texas Prisoners Are at Greater Risk?, by Matthew Clarke
- Transgender Woman Who Says She Was Raped, Beaten, Sues Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center
- BOP Official Reportedly Had Sexual Relationship With Former Police Union Head, by Bill Barton
- Doctor at Florida Detention Center Spread COVID-19 to Prisoners, by David Reutter
- Can Kentucky Keep Charging Prisoners for Their Jail Stay if They Are Found Not Guilty?, by Dale Chappell
- D.C. Appeals Court Mixed on Request for Records and Video, by David Reutter
- Prison Art is Rehabilitation, by Kevin Bliss
- Rhode Island Takes Uncommon Steps to Address a Common Problem: Drug Addiction in Prison, by Dale Chappell
- From Super Villain to Super Man, Tennessee Prisoner Still Executed, by Edward Lyon
- Record Number of Laws Passed Reducing Barriers for People With Criminal Records, by Douglas Ankney
- Tioga County, New York Police Informant Paid $50,000 to Settle False Arrest Claims, by Mark Wilson
- New York Prisoner Prevails in Lawsuit, Freed from 23 Years in Solitary Confinement, by Douglas Ankney
- Lifers Now Exceed Entire Prison Population of 1970, by Dale Chappell
- Second Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment on Connecticut Prisoner’s Failure to Protect Claim, by Mark Wilson
- Many of Aging Kansas State Prison Population Could Be Released, by Edward Lyon
- Study Shows Solitary Confinement Poses Mortality Risk After Release, by Jayson Hawkins
- $2.8 Million Settlement in New York Pretrial Detainee’s Suicide, by David Reutter
- Dallas County, Texas Jails Finally Enter the 21st Century on Phone Rates, by Edward Lyon
- Beyond Harsh: 86 Mississippi Prisoners Serving Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses, by Matthew Clarke
- Federal Judge: BOP Exercising “Reasonable Efforts” Against Coronavirus at NC Prison, by David Reutter
- United Nations Official Says Connecticut’s Use of Solitary May Amount to Torture, by David Reutter
- Court Approves $1,250,000 Settlement in Suit Against Tennessee County for Fair Labor Violations, by Douglas Ankney
- New Jersey: Commission Recommends State Take 100 Steps to Improve Re-Entry for Ex-Prisoners, by Chad Marks
- Williams & Connolly, HRDC Win Censorship Case Against Virginia Regional Jail, $210,000 in Attorney Fees, by Derek Gilna
- Court Orders South Carolina Prisons to Move Forward with Hepatitis C Treatment, by Kevin Bliss
- Kansas Leads Country in Female Incarceration Rates, by Kevin Bliss
- New Law in Maryland Reveals Pathetic Prison Wages, by Jayson Hawkins
- DC Council Approves Voting in Prison Ahead of November Election, by Nicole D. Porter
- BOP Guard Pleads Guilty to Sexually Molesting Prisoners at MCC Manhattan, by Dale Chappell
- Supreme Court Affirms Lower-Court Dismissal of Colorado Prisoner In Forma Pauperis Actions, by Derek Gilna
- News in Brief
- Seventh Circuit: Indiana District Court Erred in Denying Counsel to Prisoner, by David Reutter
More from Edward Lyon:
- Texas Prisons are Fire Traps, July 15, 2023
- The World’s Biggest Prison, July 15, 2023
- U.S. Prisoner Numbers Slowly Declining, June 15, 2023
- Civilian Police With Military Equipment, June 15, 2023
- California Easing Housing Hurdles for Released Prisoners, June 1, 2023
- Warden Ousted from Troubled Alabama Prison After DUI Arrest, May 1, 2023
- $20,000 Settlement for Ohio Prisoner’s Slip-and-Fall Injury, May 1, 2023
- $32,500 Medical Malpractice Award to Ohio Prisoner for Ripped-Out Catheter, May 1, 2023
- New York State’s Veterans Treatment Courts, April 15, 2023
- Student Loan Debt and Prisoners, Feb. 1, 2023
More from these topics:
- Colorado One of Four States Making Phone Calls Free for Prisoners, Oct. 15, 2023. Telephone Rates.
- Sheriffs Offered Caribbean Cruises and Florida Retreats As Part Of Jail Telecom Contracts, Sept. 15, 2023. Seizure of Prisoner Funds, Telephones, Telephone Rates, Private Phone Contractors.
- As e-Messaging Takes Off in U.S. Prisons, Complaints Over Service and Costs Multiply, Sept. 15, 2023. Telephone Rates, Electronically Stored Information, Prison Mail.
- Prolonged COVID-19 Visitation Restrictions Net Georgia Jails Over $1.5 Million in Telecom Kickbacks, Aug. 15, 2023. COVID-19, Cost of Prison Systems, Seizure of Prisoner Funds, Telephone Rates, Video Visitation.
- Prison Profiteer Who Chairs Christian Seminary Board Called Not Very ‘Christlike’, Aug. 15, 2023. Seizure of Prisoner Funds, Telephone Rates, Fraud and Deceit.
- California Appeals Court Affirms Rate Caps and Fee Limitations for Prison Telecoms, July 15, 2023. Telephone Rates, Private Phone Contractors, Securus.
- FCC Granted Broader Authority to Regulate Prisoner Call Costs, July 15, 2023. Telephone Rates, Global Tel*Link Corp.
- FCC Requires Prison Telecoms to Provide Services for Deaf Prisoners, July 15, 2023. Deaf Prisoners, Americans with Disabilities Act, Telephone Rates, Private Phone Contractors.
- Telecoms Exploiting Legal Loopholes to Price Gouge Prisoners and Their Families, May 1, 2023. Telephone Rates, Private Phone Contractors, Securus, Global Tel*Link Corp.
- California Makes Calls Free for State Prisoners and Juvenile Detainees, Prohibits Telecom Kickbacks to Prisons and Jails, April 1, 2023. Telephone Rates, Juvenile Offenses/Offenders, Kickback Scheme.