Detroit Pistons’ Tom Gores’ company sued in Mass. prisoner call lawsuit


According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by consumer and prisoner rights groups, Gores' company is tied to an illegal kickback scheme that nearly doubles the cost of jail phone calls made by inmates in Massachusetts.
News Story (Michigan)

Kirkland Crawford, Tresa Baldas
Detroit Free Press
May 8, 2018
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Prisoners Rights

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School


DETAILS

The lawsuit claims that Securus is inflating the cost of jail calls and harming Massachusetts by paying illegal kickbacks in order to secure exclusive phone service contracts. The inflated costs, the suit claims, are passed on to prisoners, their families and lawyers who have no other choice but to use the contracted phones.

“The illegal kickback scheme between Securus and local governments is creating needless hardship for prisoners and their loved ones, making prisoner reentry to the community more difficult, and increasing the cost of legal representation,” Brian Highsmith, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said in a statement. “The excessive costs imposed by these payments are an unlawful attempt to exploit vulnerable prisoners and their loved ones by commercializing their contacts with the outside world.”