13/05/2015 | No Comments »
Upselling Prison: accessories, upgrades, add-ons, telecoms, and salespersons of the detention supply industry.
According to the Pew Public Safety Performance Project and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 35 adult residents of the US are currently either incarcerated or under correctional supervision (parole or probation). In 1990, that number was 1 in 77. Nationally, America spends billions on corrections, and the money being made by detention profiteers is astronomical. One particularly golden calf has been inmate telecommunications, especially now that the corrections industry is undergoing a “technological renaissance.”
(Prison Voice Biometrics anyone?)
Much has been written about the contempt the prison telecom industry routinely demonstrates for families of the incarcerated by charging crushingly inflated rates for collect calls home. Still, in California, for example, the Public Utilities Commission lacks oversight of jail and prison phone contracts and nationwide the FCC is only now taking notice of high rates charged for calls originating in state and federal facilities. According to Prison Phone Justice.org, inmate phone contracts in all but 9 states are still based on a “commission” model where the service provider pays a portion of its profits to the contracting facility as a kickback for accepting their bid (this chart shows some of the worst offenders). I don’t even want to think about private and corporate-owned detention centers, where the profits extracted from those in need of human contact is obscene. Read the rest of this entry »
02/05/2015 | No Comments »
The Atlanta Cheating Scandal (or “APS Scandal” for Atlanta Public Schools) essentially began in 2009 after the Atlanta Journal Constitution published statistical anomalies in state competency tests that showed suspicious numbers of teacher corrections in 58 Atlanta schools.
By 2011, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission had uncovered cheating by close to 178 educators in 44 of 56 Atlanta schools that were investigated. Students were either directly provided with correct answers or teachers changed incorrect answers on tests after they’d been turned in. They did this, in short, to either collect bonuses or keep their jobs, and anyone who tried to shed light on the fraud reportedly lived in fear of retaliation. Read the rest of this entry »