Monday, September 28, 2015

Tell the FCC to lower phone costs for prison inmates

From Free Press:

We believe in the rights of all people to connect freely. But for the families of millions of incarcerated people across the country, it can be nearly impossible to make that connection.

Prison phone rates are astronomical, with the price of a 15-minute phone call soaring above $5 in some states.

Many families simply can’t afford these sky-high rates. For the 2.7 million children with an incarcerated parent, that means forgoing phone calls that could help them maintain healthy relationships. Studies show that regular contact with loved ones helps reduce recidivism. That means less crime, and stronger communities.

As early as October, the FCC will decide on new protections that could dramatically lower the price of prison phone calls, and open the doors for millions of families to connect without breaking the bank.

Urge the FCC to end unreasonable prison phone rates.

Prison phone companies are pocketing millions by charging prisoners’ families these predatory rates. And since a disproportionate number of prisoners are people of color, these rates harm marginalized communities in particular.

Many prisons also demand huge commissions from phone companies for the exclusive right to provide service. This drives rates up and up, punishing low-income families and forcing them to either miss out on calls or strain their budgets to the breaking point.

Tell the FCC to cap exorbitant rates for phone calls to prisoners’ families.

In 2013, the FCC passed the rules capping long-distance prison-phone rates. Now the agency can finish the job and establish local rate caps, eliminate fees and end prison-phone company commissions.

Tell the FCC it’s time to stand up for our most vulnerable communities and make prison phone calls affordable for families trying to stay connected.

Thanks for all that you do—

Dana, Joseph, Candace and the rest of the Free Press team

P.S. Help Free Press protect everyone’s right to connect and communicate with a donation of $10 (or more!) today. Thank you!

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