For many years, I have been working with others to address the outrageous rates charged to the families of prisoners for phone calls from those incarcerated. The contracts are awarded based on kickbacks ("profit share") between the local phone company and the prison. As a result, calls from prisoners to the outside world are outrageously high. Because prisoners must call collect, these charges fall on their families -- most of whom live in poverty. Can you imagine the pain of choosing between speaking to your father or eating dinner tomorrow night? That is the kind of terrible choice these families must routinely make.
The FCC has before it a long-standing petition to declare these rates and practices illegal under Section 201 and 202 of the Communications Act. The FCC has declined to act because it does not see this as a sufficient priority for its limited resources.
The Prison Phone Justice campaign is working to make this a priority issue. Please click on the link below and show your support.