A Florida prison inmate is suing after a switch between contractors removed prisoners’ access to millions of dollars’ worth of their own music. As reported by The Florida Times-Union, William Demler filed a class-action suit against the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) — which he says falsely promised to let inmates buy music permanently through one digital media provider, then cut off their access to sign a more lucrative deal with another.
Demler’s complaint involves Florida’s digital music player program, which let inmates buy a specially designed media player for $99 or $119, then buy individual songs or audiobooks for $1.70 apiece. The complaint claims that prisons heavily advertised the program, run by contractor Access Corrections, with promises that inmates could keep songs forever. Between 2011 and 2017, prisoners spent roughly $11.3 million to buy 6.7 million files in total, and Demler himself spent roughly $569 buying music, plus more money for the player itself.