Monday, February 2, 2015

My Journey With Securus: Prison Phone Monopoly Punishes Loved Ones

I use Securus because I have to. Each week, I add my hard-earned money to this monopoly of a prison phone company only because my love for an incarcerated person weighs more than my outrage over Securus' sky-high costs and fees and general terribleness. But make no mistake - I am angry about the extortion Securus exacts on unwitting, desperate clients.

My journey with Securus began in July 2014, when my boyfriend was sentenced and taken in by the Florida State Prison system. It was probably the most heartbreaking experience of my life, but that is another story entirely. Suffice to say, family members and loved ones who must use Securus' services are already emotionally and likely financially devastated.

Because I was the primary support for my boyfriend, I accepted his calls. Every time. And let me tell you, those minutes and charges piled up faster than I could have ever imagined. Simple silence between two lovers was no longer free, but billed at a hefty rate. The first three weeks of our separation by incarceration, I funneled exactly $344.75 into Securus' pockets. This includes the outrageous $6.95 "processing fee" I was charged each time I exercised the privilege of adding money into my prepaid account via a debit or credit card. Fees such as this are unacceptable at best and devastating at worst.


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