Statistics show that between 70-100 million Americans have a criminal record. (1 in 3 people) Of that number, over 20 million people have a felony conviction. There are over 2.5 million men and women housed inside the walls of prisons in our country.
25% of the “entire worlds” prisons are in America. Please read the previous sentence again, and pause for reflection.
Are human beings created differently in our country than other parts of the world? I didn’t ask the question to be cynical, but we should have awareness and think about why the percentage of incarcerated Americans is so high.
The main reason comes down to a five letter word called M-O-N-E-Y. “Prison warehouses are big business”. Did you know you can buy prison stock on the New York Stock Exchange? Google the following companies on your computer for validation.
GEO- stock ticker (GEO) GEO is actually listed as a real estate investment company. What’s their real estate? Building and owning prisons in America. Funding sourced by 17 hedge fund holders.
Core Civic – stock ticker (CXW) Core Civic is a monster player in the business of “housing human beings as commodities”. They own 105 prisons in America, and they’re corporation is located in Nashville, TN. Funding is also sourced by hedge fund holders.
Let me break down how this essentially works. Prison stocks, are stocks of private companies, that own and operate prison and detention centers in America. Our government enters into private contracts with these private companies that build and manage prisons privately.
The government “pays private companies” a per inmate cost (bed space) to house each inmate at their private prisons. They also pay them for management of services offered inside of prisons. (health care, safety equipment, food, etc…)
I agree that we need prisons to house criminals that pose a danger to our society and communities. I personally believe my federal sentence was hard to digest, but it was fair. I pled guilty to a federal crime in front of an honorable judge, and a very competent United States prosecuting attorney. If the prosecuting attorney who handled my case ever decided to become a defense attorney, he would be an asset to those who used his services. I say that with humility because I carry zero resistance to my mistakes, and I own it.
Let’s get back to the topic at hand regarding American prisons selling shares of stock on the stock exchange. What does this really mean. Any company that sells stocks has a team of board members they have to report to and manage the stocks they sell.
People who invest in stocks want a return on their investment. There job is to increase the stocks value and make the 5 letter word mentioned earlier called MONEY.
How do they ensure their investors increase their revenues for their investors? Easy. Incarcerate more people!
Has anyone ever gone to prison for insider trading? Of course, we all remember what happened to Martha Stewart.
However, can you safely invest in a stock, and be privy to inside information to verify daily how safe your investment is? Yes you can. If you like these odds for your investment strategy, prison stocks may be a good option for you.
Just tune into your television daily and read the newspaper. You’ll be gritty with happiness on the constant uptick of people being sent to prison daily.
Would I invest in prison stocks? Hell no. I wouldn’t let my soul invest in such a broken and unfair system designed to entrap those into a “cast society”, or at least tries to. My internal fortitude won’t fail, but there are many men and women that cave in and give up on life as the burden is too much.
I witness the eyes and souls of men daily who struggle to make it day to day. I also see men who are built strong, and their aura and energy is infectious.
One of my mentors and life coach Michael Santos wrote in his Book “Conquering a 45 Year Prison Sentence” that America does a great job of “housing prisoners”. What we don’t do a good job of is allowing people in prison the necessary resources that enable the “majority” of men and women to re-enter society with the tools they need to be successful, and help to lower recidivism rates.
The main point I would like to focus on for the remaining part of this article is, what are the financial impacts on families who have people incarcerated in federal or state prisons. I aim to shed light, since statistics lend evidence that most Americans are a single phone call away from knowing someone sitting inside prison today.
Estimated Monthly Expenses For Someone Inside Federal Prison: (can vary based on the individual)
– Financial Responsibility Plan: $25/month (lowest amount you can pay)(fines, restitutions, money owed to government)
– Commissary Shopping: $360/month (capped spend allowed for groceries & hygiene)
– Email Use: $50/month (average spend. can be more depending on how often you choose to communicate with people)
-Black Market Spend: $150.00 (normal store may be out of supplies, misc…. items you may need)
– Phone Calls: $0 currently. 500 minutes allowed per month to call family and friends through the Cares Act Bill (could end)
Total: Approx….: $585.00/month
Commissary equates to grocery shopping at the institutions grocery store. This week, my bill was $185.00. This includes hygiene and food items. These items are very expensive, and prices continue to go up similar to food prices in the free world. I’m still learning how to properly balance what to buy and when. My wisdom tells me to buy 85% food, and 15% hygiene items.
I’m thankful the bureau of prisons allows use of email communication to family and friends. This was needed, and I use it daily. I love to write emails and stay in contact with my network. Although we have access to email, we are charged for the messages. I spend roughly $50-$60 per month on emails, but this is money well spent.
A lot of people in prison don’t have resources to take care of themselves properly. They may have large fines, or the government may have seized all of their money and accounts.
I know of a man who had it all, but before coming to prison he lost everything and his wife and daughter who he loves dearly were forced to live in a homeless shelter. This man admits his mistakes and is a prayer warrior! He’s a powerful believer and I personally have witnessed God answer his prayer requests obediently and consistently. He received an anonymous surprise visit to the administrators office to prepare for an early release.
My point regarding finances needed for those incarcerated is simple. “WHEN PEOPLE ARE SENT TO PRISON, GOING TO PRISON IS THE PUNISHMENT”. Federal prison in itself is difficult, but not having money while inside federal prison to take care of bare essentials and proper nutrition can make it much harder. Their is a trickledown affect to the family members direct to that person that can breed unhappiness, anger, and resentment. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s sad.
What’s a possible healthy solution? I see many guys here, as well as myself have their point of contact in the free world have CashApp, Zelle, or similar account setup. Family members and friends can send money to the person they have designated who can place the funds on the person incarcerated account for spending.
There is an app the Bureau of Prisons uses so people can send money direct. However,I find that family and friends are very busy, and although they want to help, they want the process to be seamless in this day and age. Having one person designated to get money on the books for a person can really help.
My family and friends send to my wife on CashApp @ HudsonChick – Amber Hudson. She then sends it to my commissary account which posts nearly instantly from her phone.
My message to all friends and family members who know people incarcerated “INSIDE AMERICA’S STORAGE LOCKERS”. Don’t forget about those that are away. Help them. Every little bit helps. Sending $5 may seem small to you, but $5 can purchase 5 cups of soups from the commissary. Men and women live on ramen noodles, cups of soup, rice, mackerels, and beans.
Also to family and friends, if you feel moved to help financially in any way, “don’t ask” the person in prison or there family members if that person needs anything. They may tell you they don’t need anything, but most of the time they’re not going to tell you what they really need. Just give whatever you feel is helpful and give from your heart. I can guarantee you the response will always be thank you.
“I’ve learned that close family and friends also “serve the prison sentence” with the person incarcerated.”
I had a close relative that did almost 8 years in various federal prisons. I can personally say I put money on his account monthly. He never asked me to do it, but I just gave to him as a part of my tithing each month. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I was just giving because I knew his situation, and I wanted him to be as comfortable as he could while away.
He told me then, but he always reminds me how much he appreciated us giving money to him over those years. Now unfortunately that the roles are reversed, it’s no doubt he was the first person outside of my wife and parents, that ever put money on my books. Karma is a foundational principal.
I personally planned a lot before coming to federal prison. I was fortunate to have sound guidance through my mentors Michael Santos, Justin Paperny, and there respective companies at prisonprofessors.com and whitecollaradvice.com.
I spent countless hours at my local library doing a deep dive into the tedious leg work of understanding the federal prison beurocracy I was about to enter.
These men challenged me weekly by coaching me, guiding me, and teaching me the rules, regulations, and self advocacy strategies I needed to master in order to be successful before, during, and after my sentence concludes.
With all of the planning I did, I was still blown away on how expensive things were when I got here based on what I had calculated. The unexpected spending happens a lot on the front end when you’re trying to get established and get things that you really need. If you read one of my first writings of when I arrived at the Federal prison camp, you’ll know why it’s important to have your resources in order and ready for access.
In closing, don’t forget about the millions of Americans who are in prisons. People in prisons are human beings. Some deserve to be there and some don’t. I find most men where I am, are honest about their mistakes. Most men work daily to atone for their mistakes and are driven to succeed.
If you have the means to help out, don’t try and figure out what they need, just help out how you feel led to give. I can speak for all people behind prison walls and fences that your generosity helps.
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