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Posts in category: "prison phone"

Civil Rights, Media Justice, and Labor Groups Applaud the FCC for Further Action on Unfair Prison Phone Rates

Contact Info:
Stephanie Vanegas, 415-495-4200 ext.101 | stephanie@spitfirestrategies.com

Washington D.C. – In response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to approve a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, to comprehensively reform interstate and intrastate inmate calling services for prisons and detention facilities, civil rights, media justice, and labor groups released the following statement:

“The FCC’s plan to address the cost of local telephone calls to prison, jails and immigration detention facilities is another step toward reducing the unfair financial burden on incarcerated people and their families. We applaud Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn’s leadership to ensure that inmates can maintain contact withparents and grandparents, children, spouses, siblings, clergy and friends.

Preserving the most reliable way for inmates to keep relationships that matter is one of the best ways to ensure our communities are safer and to decrease re-offenses and reentry into the criminal justice system.

By taking further action, the FCC can finish the job and eliminate predatory phone rates entirely. The agency has an opportunity to increase transparency in an industry that profits from outrageous fees at the expense of families and address the terrible situation facing inmates with disabilities who often cannot communicate with the outside world.

The civil rights, media justice, and labor community stands behind Wheeler and Clyburn because all families deserve the right to stay connected at reasonable and fair rates, as mandated by the Communications Act.  We look forward to rapid completion of this next phase of the FCC’s work."

American Friends Service Committee
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Center for Media Justice
Common Cause
Communications Workers of America
Free Press
Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD)
Illinois Campaign for Prison Phone Justice of UCIMC
Media Alliance
Media Literacy Project
Open Technology Institute, New America
Prison Policy Initiative
Prisoners Legal Services of Massachusetts
Public Knowledge
NAACP
National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low income clients
National Hispanic Media Coalition
New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
United Church of Christ, OC Inc.

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Categories: prison phone  |  press release

FCC Chairman Wheeler Announces Prison Phone Rate Reform

The following statement can be attributed to Cheryl Leanza, Policy Advisor, United Church of Christ, OC Inc.:

Today's action by the FCC to press ahead on prison phone rate reform is welcome news. We congratulate Chairman Wheeler on his wisdom in taking his cues from Commissioner Clyburn on her strong moral leadership with regard to this issue. Predatory prison phone rates not only harm families economically, they undermine a supportive network for inmates, which in turn makes our communities less safe. We are pleased to see that the Commission is proposing to reform local telephone rates and to take further action to eliminate the subsidy of our prisons and jails via telephone rates.

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Categories: prison phone

Lower Prison Phone Rates Start Today!

For over ten years a coalition of organizations and individuals has been asking the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) to lower the cost of calling prison, jail or detention centers. Finally, last year we won! The FCC’s new rate caps take effect February 11, 2014.  The new rates will protect families, pastors, community members and others making phone calls to people in prison, jails, or detention centers.  We have prepared a summary and resources to help people apply the new rules.

New Rate Caps

On February 11, 2014, the new rate caps adopted by the Federal Communications Commission for telephone calls to people in prison, jail or detention take effect. The FCC caps for interstate calls (calls between two different states) are:

  • 25 cents per minute for collect calls and
  • 21 cents per minute for debit or prepaid calls

The FCC also capped the total cost of a call between two states, including per-call charges. Those caps are:

  • $3.75 for a 15-minute collect call and
  • $3.15 for a 15-minute debit or prepaid calls

For calls after February 11, 2014, a charge over these limits is in violation of federal rules.

Need more help understanding the new rules? See our Frequently Asked Questions and How to File a Complaint at the FCC for Prison Phone Call Charges that are Too High.

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Categories: prison phone

Prison Phone Court Ruling

In response to the D.C. Circuit’s ruling this morning, Cheryl Leanza, Policy Advisor to the United Church of Christ, OC Inc. said:

 

The D.C. Circuit left in place today that the interim rates established by the FCC, of 25 cents per minute for debit calling and 21 cents per minute in collect calling.  The historic victory remains in place.  Once the FCC is able to collect the additional data it needs, these rates will surely come down.  The companies resorting to litigation to oppose these rates continue their unconscionable conduct.

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Categories: prison phone

New More Just Prison Phone Rates Move Ahead

The following statement can be attributed to Cheryl Leanza, policy advisor for the United Church of Christ's media justice and communications rights ministry, OC Inc.:

 

"For ten years, the prison phone industry, led by Securus and Global Tel Link, has stonewalled and delayed while families have waited for the Federal Communications Commission to end predatory prison phone rates.  Now, at long last, we have rules that will bring to an end the unjustified rates.

 

"The FCC gave the industry innumerable chances to prove their claims that these extraordinary prices are justified.  Not only did the industry refuse to participate, but it asked for even more delay.  The FCC has finally heard the call of justice, and rightly refused to make families suffer any longer.   As Commissioner Clyburn said, 'Justice delayed is justice denied.'"

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Categories: prison phone



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