Haggerty said he hoped the bill would provide prison staffers with another tool to reward and discipline inmates. He said it could also provide families a chance to more easily stay in contact with their loved ones behind bars.The other great thing about increasing phone access is the increased likelihood that threats, abusive treatment (by guards or other inmates), corruption, and poor prison conditions will be reported by prisoners to the outside world. Plus the victim compensation fund gets a chunk of the profits (though I'm not sure it's proper for inmate families to be required to compensate victims, that's how the law is written). For those actually serving time in Texas prisons and their loved ones, this arguably was the most important new law passed at the Legislature this year.
"It has proven, in almost every other state, to be great crime fighting tool," Haggerty said.
See also prior Grits coverage of new legislation requiring secure, tamper-proof phones to be installed in Texas prisons by September 2008.