June 12, 2012
This Father's Day, I was just thinking how sad it is that I never had the opportunity to talk to my dad in this life. He died in April 2010, at the age of 58, and was cremated in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I only found out just a few years ago that I had a brother in Tennessee, and a whole extended family that I never even knew existed! Luckily, I've been able to correspond with some of them by mail, yet I have never heard their voices on the phone.
In these times of economic hardships and high unemployment, not to mention corporate greed and mortgage foreclosures, it's so hard for prisoners' families to accept a collect call from prison - it can cost up to $20 for just a 15-minute call. These exorbitant phone prices make it impossible for prisoners to maintain strong family ties, an inmate's greatest incentive for rehabilitation.
The high cost of prisoner phone calls is an unnecessary obstacle to inmates' positive development of parental responsibilities, for those with children.
The government officials and phone companies that control these inmate phone call prices need to be forced to change the rules. The public should support the ability of inmates to stay connected to their families and friends in the community.
Perhaps I will someday be able to talk to my long lost brother and relatives on the phone, but for my dad and I it's too late...
James David Gann - R.I.P.
"Jenni" John Gann
P.O. Box 5103
Delano, CA 93216-5103
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