Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Don't Steal, The Government Doesn't Like Competition

I got a chuckle out of a bumper sticker I saw the other day. It said "DON'T STEAL, THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T LIKE COMPETITION". Like a lot of bumper stickers there's some truth to that. Think of the $25 million dollar profit the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) makes from inmate calls to their families. You and I can make long distance calls for two three cents a minute or less. For inmates making calls to their families or lawyers it's three or four times more expensive. Through what can only be termed a sweetheart deal with the phone company the state skims off (steals?) many millions of dollars. Mary Carroll , whose husband Jack was railroaded to jail for a crime I don't think he committed, spends $300 a month to talk to her husband on a regular basis. There is another family I've heard of, that spends $1000 a month to speak to their son. If an inmate's family is poor, as many of them are, the inmate is cut off from the support of his loved ones.

Speaking of the Department of Correctional Services, that's an organization that needs some attention from the State's Inspector General, Dineen Ann Riviezzo. She should find out which top officials at DOCS are spending two and three hour lunch hours at OTB on Central Avenue in Albany and other watering holes, drinking and betting. I am told this sort of thing goes on all the time with officials at several agencies. A friend and I observed a couple DOCS higher ups at the OTB bar not too long ago and luckily I was able to get a few pictures. You may hear and see more about this in the near future.
Ernie Tetrault-Justice Now


  • Would love to see those photographs!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 AM  

  • I would like ot hear more about this OTB story! I see State workers out and about during the day in bars, restaurants and shopping and I know this becasue they are WEARING their badges!! I asked a friend of mine that works for the state and they are not supposed to be displaying them outside of work AND they are not supposed to be doing anything to disgrace their Department. Very Interesting..... Signed, Working hard in Albany

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:09 AM  

  • Mr. Tetrault: I'd like to see more on this OTB story. Usually, people will go thru great lengths to hide where their hang outs are "during the day" on working hours, but when they become that obvious with their tags around their neck and coming and going as they please, you know they think they are ABOVE the rest. By the way, I work for the state and I know that you have to swipe "in and out" of most of the Buildings. DOCS has the swipe pass system and Guards at thier entrances, as well. Have you ever thought of FOILING those records? The Times Union has been wonderful in their reporting of the laws for FOIL and how it can work to benefit individuals.

    Part of the "LABOR" force

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:33 PM  

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