Profiteering From Crime and Prisons by Jeffery J. Gardner
My name is Jefferey J. Gardner, and I have been incarcerated in the Virginia Department of Corrections for 15 years.
I am a high school graduate, Army veteran with an honorable discharge, and I've completed vocational courses in masonry, heavy construction equipment repair (628), and custodial maintenance.
I have completed anger management, breaking barriers, and thinking for a change.
I am a medical class-A and mental health-0.
My CORIS assessment is supervision level: low, risk of recidivism: low, and risk of violent recidivism: low.
I am a member of the Veterans Support Group at Pocahontas State Correctional Center.
I am a member of American Legion Post 775, where I was elected to the office of 2nd Vice Commander, sit on the Executive Committee, and chair the Americanism Committee.
I am a cash cow that has put money in the pockets of law enforcement, social workers, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, private investigators, court clerks, Global Tel Link, Keefe, and Jpay.
I provide a steady income of over $27,000 per year to VDOC and the longer they keep me, the more money they milk out of me, my family, friends, and taxpayers. We are fodder for the Prison Industrial Complex and keep these rich and powerful people, rich and powerful.
The judicial system isn't about justice, guilt, or innocence, right or wrong. It's about money. Convictions = $$$ and non-convictions cost the court money since fines and court costs can't be imposed.
Virginia has a very high conviction rate. Studies done by the University of South Carolina and PEW Institute, figure Virginia's wrongful conviction rate at 10-14%. A lawyer who wins a case gets one pay day, however, if he loses he has a high chance at collecting more money for an appeal. Losing cases is more profitable for criminal defense lawyers and it creates more business for the courts, prisons, GTL, Keefe, Jpay, etc...
As far as I can tell there is no way to end these practices. The very people who are supposed to protect individual rights and ensure fundamental fairness have become domestic enemies of our Constitution.
I believe that Global Tel Link, Keefe, and Jpay are owned by politicians, judges, law enforcement, and corrections. If so, these people have financial interest in mass incarceration. They can kick back and make a lot of money while tax payers pay the costs of housing, feeding, and anything else. It is unfair to prey on the incarcerated and their families who want to alleviate the hardships of prison.
The family and friends of prisoners are sympathetic and compassionate when they hear of prison conditions such as poor quality food, small portions, poor medical, and dental care. So, these compassionate people send money through Jpay and pay the extortion direct deposit fee. Once the money is received it funds the GTL phone account and commissary spend account.
Food service managers in VDOC compete to see who can save the most money. As a result food quality and portion sizes are driving the sales of Keefe commissary. Food service gets bonuses for savings and a big corporate business profits as well.
The medical department makes money from treatment of digestive ailments, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer caused by the processed and not so fresh foods we are limited to. They also make money on fungi, scabies, and other afflictions.
The reason there are so many people incarcerated, is money.
All that is needed to incarcerate a person is an allegation. The material taught in schools about rights, due process, fair trials, witnesses, impartial juries, effective counsel, appeals, and checks and balances is lies. These lies make it easier to railroad people since they aren't expecting what's coming.
VDOC is making receiving mail harder, all letters, photos, and cards are being photo copied in black and white. Inmates get a color censored out copy and the original gets shredded. Why? To encourage people to use Jpay to send email, electronic photos, and e-cards.
VDOC is making contact visits harder and less enjoyable. They are ending the sale of sandwiches, chips, cakes, etc. in vending machines. Inmates and their families can no longer enjoy a half decent meal together. Only soda, candy bars, and crackers. Why? Likely, to discourage visits and move toward non contact video visits provided by Jpay.
There are judges in Southwest Virginia who openly brag "I will give out one million years during my time on the bench," Well, at the current rate of incarceration of $27,227 per year this will cost tax payers over 30 billion dollars to keep 30,000 bed in VDOC full. How much will this judge profit?
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.