Lawsuits Allege Michigan County Jails Ban In-Person Visits for Profit

55
SHARE
Lawsuits Allege Michigan County Jails Ban In-Person Visits for Profit

Two lawsuits filed this month allege that two county jails in Michigan implemented bans on in-person family visits several years ago to increase revenue from phone calls and electronic messaging. The lawsuits accuse officials in St. Clair County and Genesee County of engaging in a kickback scheme with telecommunications corporations Global Tel*Link Corporation and Securus Technologies.

According to the lawsuits, the bans on in-person visits leave electronic communications as the only way for families of detainees to communicate with their loved ones in jail. This move is alleged to have violated the Michigan Constitution, which protects family integrity and intimate association.

Denials from Telecommunications Companies

Both Global Tel*Link Corporation (now known as ViaPath Technologies) and Securus Technologies denied any wrongdoing in response to the allegations. They emphasized their commitment to serving consumers and expressed readiness to defend themselves against the lawsuits.

The lawsuits argue that the family visit bans violate the Michigan Constitution’s provisions safeguarding family integrity and intimate association. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs assert the importance of upholding these constitutional rights.

Profit Motive Behind Bans

The lawsuits allege that the bans were motivated by financial gain for the counties involved. Telecommunications companies reportedly offered lucrative deals to secure exclusive contracts with the jails, resulting in substantial revenue for the counties.