County scams Inmate's families on phone calls

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

You have a collect call from (unintelligible), an inmate at the Dane County Jail. Do you accept the call

Yes. I can afford it.
1
9%
Yes. I'm skipping on my phone bill anyway.
0
No votes
No.
6
55%
This is Supervisor David Blaska. My number is 271-4882.
4
36%
 
Total votes: 11

bmasel
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County scams Inmate's families on phone calls

Postby bmasel » Fri Sep 24, 2004 6:01 pm

No go on free inmate phone calls
County to get $1.2M under pact

http://www.madison.com/tct/mad/local//i ... ntid=10816

Would inmates calling the County Supervisors who voted to extort their families, collect, to gripe about the charges be guilty under Telephone Harrassment statutes, or would they fall under a 1st Amendment exemption?

see the definition of Criminal Harrassment in Wisconsin Statute 947.013(1m)(b)
(b)�  Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which harass or intimidate the person and which serve no legitimate purpose.

I'd argue that seeking to convince an elected official of the unjust nature of the telephone contract is a "legitimate purpose."

burstingsun
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Postby burstingsun » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:22 pm

My sup voted against it. I think it could be worth a night in jail just to bug the crap out of him.

By the way, did anyone else hear Blaska's little tirade? I'd like to see him spend a night in jail.

Brenda Konkel
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Postby Brenda Konkel » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:00 pm

Folks are being encouraged to contact Kathleen Falk and ask her to veto the contract approval.

falk@co.dane.wi.us

b

burstingsun
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Postby burstingsun » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:48 pm

Brenda Konkel wrote:Folks are being encouraged to contact Kathleen Falk and ask her to veto the contract approval.

falk@co.dane.wi.us

b


I think I'll call her collect.

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Postby Stu Levitan » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:25 pm

I'll be interviewing Bill Whitford, active in advocating for a Falk veto of the new phone contract, at 5:15 on Monday, 9/27 on 92.1 FM. Hope you can join us - callers welcome at 281-0921.

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Postby ShaneDog » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:48 pm

Why don't they just get a VOIP phone provider. Then they can make unlimited phone calls to anywhere for free. Who ever thought it was ok to be profiting from inmate phone calls? That is seriously fucked up.

blunt
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Postby blunt » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:03 pm

Check the letter in yesterday's WSJ---some sadly myopic codger claims to have a bunch of kids, a whole bunch more grandkids, and the y all call whenever they want for free because they'll never be in jail.
Thanks for caring and sharing, pops.
I don't have compassion for anyone that's not exactly like me, either.
Someone might want to uncrimp your oxygen hose.

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Postby Mike S. » Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:13 am

Keep in mind that, in ivory-tower theory, many of the "inmates" discussed are supposed to be Innocent Until Proven Guilty. As said, if they had the money to pay bail they'd be set free. Instead, they are not "merely" imprisoned, but subjected to the same harsh discipline as a convicted criminal, and their desperate communications to family used for $1.2 million in extra tax money.

If you flip through a 2050 English thesaurus under "american", you'll find "hypocrite, liar, coward, tormentor, eavesdropper, spy, cheat, loanshark, slavemaster, corporocrat, spinmeister, Mahayana Christian, and lunatic, not necessarily in that order.

Nick Berigan
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Postby Nick Berigan » Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:22 am

The minutes are not yet posted. Anybody got the breakdown on those two voting items?

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Postby trading places » Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:49 am

Nick Berigan wrote:The minutes are not yet posted. Anybody got the breakdown on those two voting items?

Can't find the vote on the fund, but here's the vote on the contract:

CONTRACT VOTE

Yes, approve: Blaska, Brown, Bruskewitz, Eggert, Fyrst, Hanson, Hitzemann, Hulsey, Jensen, Kostelic, Martz, McDonell, O'Loughlin, Olsen, Pertzborn, Ripp, Rusk, Schoer, Vogel, Wendt, Wiganowsky, Willett -- 22.

No, reject: DeFelice, DeSmidt, Gau, Graf, Gross, Hendrick, Matano, Opitz, Richmond, Salov, Vedder, Wheeler, Worzala, Kesterson -- 14

bolds should be especially ashamed.

Brenda Konkel
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Postby Brenda Konkel » Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:27 pm

Is there any explanation, giving the folks the highest benefit of the doubt, as to why these liberal democrats took this *bold* vote???? Seriously, what's their explanation?
b

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Postby Daisy » Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:38 pm

The mind boggles.

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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:40 pm

I'm not sure but I bet Floyd has a good explanation :lol:

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Postby Andy Olsen » Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:46 pm

Brenda Konkel wrote:Is there any explanation, giving the folks the highest benefit of the doubt, as to why these liberal democrats took this *bold* vote???? Seriously, what's their explanation?
b

Well, Brenda, no-one presented a better solution. Complaints we had. Solutions, we did not.

A false impression was propagated that we raised the rates for calls. Let's be clear: that's simply untrue.

If we dropped the entire system now it would cost the county, at least, $1 million in lost revenues. We�d have to make that up somewhere. The most likely source(s) would have included Human Services programs. Most of the Board is trying to protect Human Services programs from cuts and eliminating this phone contract would have meant more cuts in many programs.

Budgets are about choices and we can't fix everything that is wrong with a budget every year. Especially not when we're still reeling from a state-imposed fiscal crisis. At this time, I placed a higher priority on making sure we can fund human services programs.

By the way, we do allow 30 minutes per connect fee whereas most jails only allow 15 minutes. That�s a significant difference per call(s) over 15 minutes.

If we had gone with the lesser contract amount from ICSolutions, then the cost of calls would reduce by only $1.25 per call (the connect charge). The cost to the County in lost revenue would have been $240,000. So, it would cost a whole lot of revenue for little benefit to the affected parties.
A proposed relief mechanism for the poorest inmates to get free phone calls was, much to my great surprise, defeated by the left as well as the right.

I�ve worked to make sure that inmates represented by publicly funded legal defense offices are able to call their legal representatives for free. I will also work on some other way to lessen the impact through the budget process, but that faces an uphill battle. I voted against booking fees in committee.

A few facts that have not been mentioned. We have increased spending for medical care in the jail by 100% over four years. That's a $1.7 million increase. $1.3 million in 2003, alone. Also, this program directly provides $58k for the victim notification system. The new system is better, providing phone cards that inmates can purchase so as not to call families collect. Other improvements for families should come into play.

I will say the arguments that people in the jail are victims was a bit much to take.

That's most of it. I disliked it intensely, tried to fix it but the support was not there. I didn't want to diddle around just to arrive back at the same spot when no solution was in sight. Besides, if we had rejected it, the old contract would have remained in place and nothing would have changed. So I chose to cast a vote that I didn't like at all but that seemed like the responsible thing to do.

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It's a tax

Postby bmasel » Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:54 am

It's a tax, not on prisoners, but on the families of prisoners. Think of the revenue the County could make if we forced everyone to pay a tax every time they talked to family members. Enough for goldplated social services, fat raises for all County employess, and more Greenbelt acquisition.

Too ambitious? How about we single out calls home from folks in the Service? Or just Students with parents in Illinois?


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