Florida prison inmates will be required to hand over the MP3 players and music that they have purchased, because the Florida Department of Corrections has made a new deal with a different company to provide inmates with the material.
The department has had a deal for several years with Access Corrections that provides inmates with MP3 players for $100, with the inmates responsible for downloading songs at $1.70 each. More than 30,299 players were sold, with 6.7 million songs downloaded for about $11.3 million worth of music, according to the Associated Press.
The Department of Corrections has collected $1.4 million in commissions on each song downloaded and other related sales since 2011.
The department has now struck a multimedia tablet contract with Jpay, which will funnel more money back to the department but the inmates will need to turn in their current players and will not be able to transfer their music to the new tables, according to the AP. The change has resulted in so many grievances filed that the the department has created a special code to log all of them.
“My brother was a musician, and music is very important to him,” Scott Larsen, brother to a 68-year-old inmate, told the AP. “The MP3 player was a good source of entertainment and peace of mind for him.”
The new contract begins in January.