My father is in jail. Ok, that may be true. He has freely admitted to his mistakes. While the Gwinnett and Duluth, GA county judges never bothered to look through his case, I can assure you that he has more than paid the price for his indiscretions.
That being said, he is now serving his time in jail. My family has decided to rally around my father and provide him with love, support, and forgiveness. We are repairing our family ties and have been communicating via letters.
My mother spends $5 for a 15 minute phone call, just to hear the sound of his voice. I felt like I could afford this amount, so after the hassle of setting up my phone account, I began recieving phone calls from my father once a week.
The phone calls are only allowed to last for 15 minutes. A good portion of that time is spent with interruptions from the phone company. But the time we spend talking on the phone is so special that even when it is so brief, it can still warm our hearts.
Last week, I was disheartened to learned that my 15 minute phone calls were costing $21 each! Surely, this couldn't be true. After making several phone calls, which I am pretty sure were to an out of country, noisy call center, I found out that the charge was indeed correct. The employee who "assisted" me was incomprehensible and beyond rude.
I never recieved a detailed phone bill, just an amount to pay. When I researched the company, there were several addresses. I am anxious to pay this bill because my good judgement tells me that something is not right. However, I do not dare incur the outrageous late fees!
The real issue is that over $5 for a 15 minute phone call is an absolute crime! While Georgia does not believe that prison is a place for rehabilitation, I think it is only fair to allow prisoners to connect with family to find the love and support they need to carry them through their prison sentence, and hopefully keep them out in the future.
In addition, it is no secret that most inmates in Georgia prisons carry cell phones. This is a real problem. My father, who is following the rules, is being punished because he is going through the lawful channels of communication. Perhaps, Georgia needs to reconsider how they really want their inmates communicating and begin making better decisions on who they contract out for the phone system!