This week, our guest is Bianca Tylek, who fills us in about the prison phone industry. GTL and Securus among others profit off of prisoners and their families by charging them exorbitant fees for access to the phone lines which are so key for surviving prison. Recent coverage confirming that Sesame Street had entered a partnership caused outrage and shone a light on the industry’s power and profitability. Recent grassroots activism from incarcerated people and advocates have produced a wave of legislation mandating reduced costs or even free phone calls in some cities and states.
Bianca Tylek is founder and executive director of Worth Rises, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industry and ending the exploitation of those in its grip. Worth Rises works to return the economic resources extracted from affected communities, and are a key part of the prison phone justice movement.