I have recently learned about the significant lack of resources for families of loved ones who have been incarcerated, families who have been left with nothing when a loved one is sentenced to jail or prison. Private companies capitalize on this, taking advantage of low income families which incur exhorbitant costs for phone calling with only one option for receiving phone calls from their loved one in jail, finding and sending money for the prisoner’s commissary fund so they can purchase the items that jails will not permit families to bring to them. In many cases, too, families are separated by hundreds of miles and when they gather the resources to go visit, they are subject to treatment by personnel as if they were the criminals. Additionally, there are few facilities (those few being mostly in California) that have family friendly places for visitation, something that is desperately needed.
In essence, our "justice" system contributes to a vicious cycle of poverty, lack of resources for families, children without parents, and the social stigma of having a loved one incarcerated. The way our "justice" system is devised, those that incur the brunt of the "punishment" are the families.
In response to my discovery and desire to work for reform, I have created an online resource for support, Motion to Support.
There is a lot of work to do in reforming the criminal justice system in the U.S.