The Price You Pay

The cost of sending money to prisoners just went up -- way up.

Bob Gerle understands Mrs. Freeman's frustration. He sends money to his son, who has been in prison for ten years for assaulting a police officer, among other things. But Gerle is also a volunteer with Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants, a group of citizens that advocates for prisoner rehabilitation. The organization was founded in Texas in 1975; a Colorado chapter was formed in 1990.

"It's a strain on the people who can less afford it than I can," he says.

Like Mrs. Freeman, Gerle sees it as a tax on the families of prisoners, people who've committed no crime. And even though DOC officials say the department isn't receiving any commissions, fees or rebates from either of the service providers, Mrs. Freeman doubts it.

Shout out: Mrs. Peggy Jo Freeman.
Mark Manger
Shout out: Mrs. Peggy Jo Freeman.

"People gettin' tired out here, like me. I'm not going to be one of these women that's going to get abused anymore by the system or nobody else," she says. "Fraud, fraud, fraud. This is pure fraud, and I believe it's fraud, because anytime that you're a taxpayer and you pay taxes, you pay with your kids in the penitentiary, and then there come a time that you can't send 'em money, that you got to send it to somebody to put in they pocket -- hell, no, I ain't sending no money down there for them damn fools to put in their pockets."

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