The Power Of Staying Connected & Love

In addition to keeping families better connected, studies show a public safety benefit to reducing prison phone call rates.

Incarcerated people who maintain contact with the outside world are less likely to commit new crimes upon re-entering society. Family and friends can help a formerly incarcerated person find housing and employment.

Advocates argue that prison communications companies, namely Securus and Global Tel Link, have taken advantage of minimal government regulation and charged above-market value rates for phone calls in many states since the 1990s. State and local corrections departments that contract with the companies typically receive a percentage commission of each call, which may be used to pay for staff equipment, maintenance needs or prisoner programs.

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SHUT DOWN VIENNA

Activists and family members of people incarcerated in Vienna Correctional Center are calling on the Illinois Department of Public Health to shut down the minimum-security prison in southern Illinois.

The prison has been plagued by electrical issues, which caused intermittent power outages over several weeks in May, according to news reports.

Prison officials have relied on backup generators, which generate noxious fumes and are themselves unreliable.

The petition also claims the prison is infested with black mold and rodents in the dining halls and kitchen. These ongoing issues have made the facility dangerous, especially during a pandemic.

Activists have often called for the closure of prisons, including Stateville, Pontiac and Menard.

Vienna, which opened in November 1965, is often on the list.

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