Pricey Video Services Increasingly Supplant In-Person Prison Visits

Video visitation services are already available in more than 600 penal institutions, and the upward trend shows few signs of the growing trend slowing down. They’ve also sparked a debate over whether the services are a valuable, lower-cost alternative to in-person visits to distant locations (as the American Correctional Association recommended in 2016) or a

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Verizon Terminates Collect Call Access for Federal Prisoners

On April 22, Verizon implemented a service change in which its landline customers are no longer allowed to accept collect calls from inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Federal inmates were notified of this new policy through an April 17 notice posted to the Inmate Bulletin Board system on TRULINCS computers. This follows

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Taping Inmate-Lawyer Conferences Stirs Outrage at Kansas Prison

It began last year during an investigation of contraband smuggling into the Leavenworth Detention Center, a privately run federal prison in Kansas operated by CoreCivic, formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America. During that investigation, a federal prosecutor in Kansas City told a private defense lawyer she could not lawfully represent a Leavenworth inmate,

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FCC inserts itself into prison-industrial complex debate with new ruling

On October 22nd, the FCC finally stepped into a debate that could have wide-reaching effects on this nation’s criminal justice system. After many years of reticence, they finally issued a ruling clamping down on the exploitive practices of private companies providing telecommunications services to America’s prisons. The new FCC rules seek to cap fees for

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Reading Death Row Prisoner’s Legal Mail States Sixth Amendment Claim

The Ninth Circuit has held that a prison guard’s act of reading a prisoner’s legal mail – not merely inspecting or scanning it – constitutes a Sixth Amendment violation.

The Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s order dismissing, at the screening stage, a pro se civil rights action filed by Arizona death row prisoner Scott D. Nordstrom. Nordstrom alleged in his complaint that on May 2, 2011, he prepared a letter to mail to an attorney challenging his murder conviction.

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The Best Things in Prison Are Free!

By Rhonda Turpin During the month of December, everyone in the U.S. prison system can receive free photos of their friends and loved ones. How is that possible? The founder of the discount prisoner phone service, TELEPIGEON, left prison after serving seven years for selling drugs with a plan. Telepigeon propelled him to millionaire status. 

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Louisiana Public Service Commission Considers Prison Phone Issues

By Prison Legal News The Advocate reported in March 2014 that tensions were high between Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Eric Skrmetta and PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell during a hearing on issues related to prison and jail phone rates. Previously, in December 2012, the PSC voted to lower the cost of phone calls made

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Email Services Bring News to Federal Inmates

By Christopher Zoukis

Federal inmates can now subscribe to free or paid news services through the use of a monitored email service.  This enables inmates to stay abreast of local, state, national, and issue-specific news of interest to them.  No longer must they dig through recycling bins at their prison facility to locate a week-old USA Today or New York Times.  Now, they can have news delivered to their inbox on a daily, bi-weekly, or weekly basis.  This article presents how these services work, what types of news they furnish, their costs (if any), and presents a list of such reputable email news services.

Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System

The Federal Bureau of Prisons allows inmates to utilize a monitored computer service called the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS).  As reported at and, this system allows inmates to manage their trust fund account transactions, stay abreast through an electronic bulletin board system for inmates, send messages to staff members, browse and buy MP3 song files, manage outside contact’s addresses and phone numbers, print mailing labels for letters, send money to those outside of prison, and even utilize a monitored email service.

Monitored Email Through Corrlinks

The TRULINCS monitored email service allows authorized inmates to email with pre-screened community members.  All the inmate has to do is add the outside contact’s name, postal mailing address, and email address into their contacts folio via a TRULINCS computer and a system-generated email is sent to the outside contact with information on how to become an authorized contact.  After the outside contact goes to the Corrlinks website, they input a security code contained within the system-generated message and they are then allowed to email with the inmate in question.

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New York Prison Guard Pleads Guilty to Contraband Introduction Offenses

Curtis Drakes, 33, a former prison guard at the Mize Street Detention Facility, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to introduce contraband into a correctional facility. According to court records, Drakes smuggled cell phones into the Mize Street Detention Facility for cash payments from inmates at the facility.  This conduct allegedly spanned the time period of

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