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Communicating With Incarcerated Family Members: A Prohibitively Expensive Lifeline


Supervillains who continue to participate in criminal acts even when serving long prison sentences rarely exist outside of fictional narratives.  Most people in jail or prison are not looking to become the next Hannibal Lecter; instead, they want to finish their sentences and then go on with their lives, albeit with a new appreciation for life’s simple pleasures such as choosing your own sleep schedule, eating your favorite foods, and interacting with your family and friends whenever you choose.  Websites like Pro Publica give numerous examples of how the criminal courts and the penal system impose excessive financial burdens on defendants in criminal cases, whether or not they get convicted, and on their families and friends.  If you have spent yet another holiday season wishing to reunite with an incarcerated family member, then you may have already contacted a criminal defense lawyer about helping your family member appeal their excessive sentence or become eligible for parole sooner.  To find out the best way to avoid financial catastrophe when you have stretched your already thin resources even thinner to provide a lifeline to an incarcerated family member, contact a Jupiter debt lawyer.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment for the People Who Do the Most to Prevent Crime

Numerous studies have shown that one of the biggest deterrents to recidivism in people who have served sentences in jail or prison is staying in close contact with friends and family while they were behind bars.  In other words, knowing that people care about you is effective at preventing crime.  Meanwhile, every time an incarcerated person communicates by phone, email, or video chat with someone on the outside, it costs money.  You might think that your phone and Internet service are a rip-off, but you may get to choose among several companies from which to buy these services.  The companies that control communications with incarcerated people have a monopoly with the correctional institution.  One of these companies is South Florida’s own JPay, based in Miramar.

Family members of incarcerated people know that these communications are a lifeline.  A report on Northwest Florida Daily News said that families go into debt to stay in contact with incarcerated family members, but the truth is that most of these families were already in debt.  Sending $50 or $100 every few weeks to refill an incarcerated relative’s account that enables them to communicate with you is beyond most people’s budgets, but they continue to do it, because the alternative is to abandon your brother, son, or cousin.  You are doing the right thing by standing through your family through thick and thin, but knowing this does not make creditors pursue you any less aggressively.  Depending on your circumstances, the best solution may be declaring bankruptcy, consolidating your debt, or just paying what you can until better days arrive.  A debt lawyer can help you choose the best option.

Contact a Debt Lawyer About Dealing With Multiple Financial Crises

A debt lawyer can help you if you are struggling financially as you keep your family together while a family member is incarcerated.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Jupiter, Florida to discuss your case.



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