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Bianca Tylek, the founder of Worth Rises, is on a mission to dismantle the prison industry in the United States, which profits from mass incarceration. With a focus on the prison telecom sector, Tylek and her team have successfully passed legislation in numerous cities, five states, and at the federal level to make communication free for incarcerated individuals. This has resulted in savings of over $400 million for families and created two billion additional minutes of call time for people with incarcerated loved ones.

By targeting the prison telecom industry, Worth Rises has disrupted the business model of the industry and put the largest prison telecom company on the verge of bankruptcy. Tylek attributes their success to a three-pronged strategy of narrative change, policy change, and corporate accountability. They use powerful storytelling, introduce legislation to push for change, and hold companies accountable for their involvement in the prison industry. Additionally, Worth Rises maintains a database of over 4,000 corporations engaged in the prison industry, providing transparency and information for investors to make more ethical choices.

Moving forward, Worth Rises is focusing on challenging the prison labor sector, healthcare in prisons, and electronic monitoring practices. Tylek notes that in seven states, the majority of people working in prisons earn no wages, and the average wage in most states is only 14 cents per hour. The organization is also keeping an eye on the healthcare industry in prisons, as a major healthcare corporation recently filed for bankruptcy. Electronic monitoring, pushed by the same companies profiting from incarceration, is another area of concern for Worth Rises.

Despite facing resistance from the industry, Tylek and her team remain strategic and determined in their efforts to bring about change. Utilizing their understanding of how the industry works, they have been able to effectively push for policy changes and hold corporations accountable for their involvement in the prison industry. As they continue their work to dismantle the prison industry, Tylek emphasizes the importance of mobilizing people with wealth and the masses to create a united front against mass incarceration.

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