Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Long Lunch hours at DOCS

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

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