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The cost of having a loved one incarcerated is high

When you are facing criminal charges, one of the factors that might keep you working hard on a defense is thinking about what your family members will do if you are incarcerated. This is something that can be difficult to think about, but for the men and women who are in prison in Louisiana, it is a real concern.

One of the things that some people fail to consider is the monetary expense related to having a loved one in prison. This comes in many forms. Trying to keep in contact with the inmate is expensive if you rely on phone calls. Providing the inmate with commissary money is another expense. Traveling for visits and possibly having to take time off of work to get to the visits are also expenses you might incur.

One woman who has launched a prison reform program dubbed Coalition of Mercy notes that she spends $2.31 per 15-minute phone call from her husband in prison. She said that in order for him to remain an active part in the family's life, she spends upwards of $260 to $450 just on the phone bill alone.

While families note that this cost is too high, officials say that the prisons aren't required to provide inmates with phone service. One official notes that the features of the call systems, including call forwarding detection and voice recognition software, justify the cost of the service. Families say that the phone service is just a way for the prison system to make some money.

If you are facing criminal charges, you should think about how much it is going to cost your family if you do get sent to prison. This might help to provide you with a reason to fight against the charges.

Source: The Washington Times, "Families spend millions on calls from Louisiana inmates," Jonathan Bullington and Richard A. Webster, Jan. 22, 2017

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