Prison libraries of paper books are slowly disappearing. In their place prisoners are getting tablets. But profits are being made when prisoners send emails, videoconferencing with family, listening to music, and reading.
In West Virginia, a company called Global Tel Link has the contract to provide prisoners in ten prisons with “free” tablets, for which they charge $0.05/minute for reading ebooks, primarily drawn from Project Gutenberg, a free online service of volunteer-produced, public domain and CC-licensed ebooks.
Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates run the Gates Foundation, which recently increased its stake in Serco Group Plc, a private, for-profit prison in the U.K.
The trust, the Gates foundation’s investment arm, added nearly 200,000 shares of Serco Group Plc in May…The foundation’s staff have no influence over the trust’s investment decisions, according to its website…Serco runs six for-profit prisons in the U.K., all of which are nearly filled to capacity.
The staff may have no influence, but surely either of the Gates have a say in the matter?