Free/low cost calls and tablet access during COVID19 visitation ban- Louisiana

Free/low cost calls and tablet access during COVID19 visitation ban- Louisiana

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Krystal Imbraguglio started this petition to Governor John Bel Edwards and

In response to COVID19 Louisiana Department of Corrections has suspended visitation in efforts to reduce infection rates. Securus has given us 2 free 15-minute phone calls and a few stamps a week. This is not enough. They did not mention there was the per minute rate increase from .21 to .22 a minute. Including the free calls and increased phone call time families have actually spent more money than usual during the outbreak. We are not able to visit our loved ones. There is a lack of transparency during the pandemic which causes rumors to run rampant, anxiety to run high, and children and families to lose constant contact with their loved ones. Most of us have been displaced from our jobs which makes the financial burden that much harder. Children have been impacted by displacement from school, not understanding what is going on in the world, and now they are being told they can not see their loved ones. Phone calls add up to exorbitant amounts in a matter of days. Particularly, here in Louisiana our rates per minute are some of the highest in the nation. Our incarceration rates are the highest in the nation. Our COVID19 pandemic is one of the highest in the world. Most are unaware that the Louisiana Department of Corrections receives a 70% kickback from each call made. In 2016 they were paid $3,044,009.33 in kickbacks. (source: Prison Phone Justice- Louisiana ) As we come together in this trying time for the entire world we ask that Securus and or Department of Corrections step up to reduce the cost per call to assist the families who are already struggling with many other unforeseen new obstacles. Tablet and kiosk access is not available to every inmate. For example, an inmate in CCR is not allowed to use a tablet even if they can afford one. If each inmate had access to tablets this would reduce the need to use the same phone as the rest of the population thus promoting self-isolation and social distancing. All of the above-named points also lead to the prevention of contraband trafficking. Inmates and families are becoming increasingly desperate for cost-effective ways to communicate. This is a ripple effect. Cell phones are in higher demand now more than ever. If we could all work together as a community many families would benefit from small acts of charity on behalf of the state and from big business. 

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