Today, The Nation partnering with the ACLU and Beyond Bars—a Brave New Films project—launched a new video series. “Prison Profiteers” profiles the powerful corporations—from telephone companies to private prison corporations—making billions of dollars by exploiting our mass incarceration crisis.

The first video highlights Global Tel* Link, a for-profit telephone company that makes $500 million per year charging prisoners exorbitant rates to keep in touch with their loved ones. Calls through Global Tel* Link can cost as much as $1.17 per minute—that’s $17 for a fifteen-minute phone call.


The Federal Communications Commission took an important first step in August by capping the price of prisoner phone calls made from one state to another at twenty-five cents per minute. But most prisoners are serving time in their home state. Tell the FCC to finish the job and end this predatory practice for all prison phone calls.


The Nation’s Liliana Segura gives an overview of the massive scope of the crisis of companies profiting off of mass incarceration: “With 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States,” she writes, “prisons are big business.”


Nearly 3 million kids in the United Stats have an incarcerated parent. In our video on Global Tel* Link, 9-year-old Kenny talks about keeping in touch with his incarcerated father.