GTL Telecom Profits in Vermont Prisons

Vermont, like every other state, has contracts between its Department of Corrections and private, for-profit companies to meet incarcerated people’s commissary, media, and telecommunication needs. The State of Vermont allows these corporations to charge prices that far exceed anything paid by Vermonters on the outside. Moreover, the state receives a portion of the proceeds, incentivizing DOC officials to continue the practice without scrutiny or legislative oversight.

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The Winooski School District’s almost-completed $62 million school expansion project has been in the news for being behind schedule and incurring rising costs. What is likely unknown to the city’s residents and most Winooski school officials is the project’s use of over $400,000 worth of incarcerated labor, worth millions in real labor costs, on average making less than $1 an hour.

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