Local & State
‘An endless cycle’ of charges and fines in NC prison system For the incarcerated, nothing is free as expenses drain resources Published Saturday, December 3, 2022 5:10 pm By Brianna Atkinson | UNC Media Hub Cierra Cobb in front of a poster of her husband, Jeffrey Cobb, who is incarcerated at Warren Correctional Institute. Cierra Cobb sits at her kitchen table waiting for a phone call.
At 7:42 a.m., her phone rings. It’s a 10-digit number from Warren Correctional Institute.
Her husband, Jeffrey Cobb, is calling to start their morning routine. The two collaborate on a podcast for Emancipate NC, where Cierra also works as a family advocate.
She presses five to accept the collect call. Fifteen minutes later it disconnects.
He calls again at 9:15, then at 9:33, and so on until 10:40. By lunch time, he’s made seven of these calls. And spent about $15.
The calls cost about $1.25 to $1.60 each. Not including a fee to put money on the account, which can range from $3 to about $6. Within a month, Cierra spends $300, sometimes more.
These calls are the only way Cierra can hear his voice because the facility no longer allows in-person visits due to staffing shortages.“It’s like they’re forcing us to spend all this extra money during inflation where families are struggling,” Cierra said. “It’s a struggle to try to feed your loved one, to stay in contact with them. Now you can’t see them.”Phone calls aren’t the only expenses those who are […]
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