Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

More Action on Predatory Prison Phone Rates

As we noted early this year, the Federal Communications Commission heeded public pressure, and issued a proposal to reform predatory prison phone rates.  Early this week was the official beginning of the public comment period.  UCC OC Inc. and its allies filed at the FCC to oppose these unconscionable rates.

 

“Predatory prison phone rates are a moral issue,” said Earl Williams, chairs the board of the United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc. “We strongly urge the FCC to take rapid steps to lower the price of long-distance rates that can prevent children from calling their fathers, grandmothers from calling their grandsons and pastors from calling their congregants.”

 

UCC OC Inc. is collecting endorsements from religious organizations and clergy to oppose the practice, and will be organizing for a Father's Day action, reprising last year's successful effort.  Please add your name or organizational endorsement.  This letter will be filed next month at the FCC. 

 

Earlier this year, Rev. Sala Nolan-Gonzales testified at Rainbow/PUSH's hearing on the topic . She spoke from her long experience visiting prisons every day, talking about the small amount of money prisoners receive for the work they perform while incarcerated.   In addition, Rev. Nolan-Gonzales described the long-standing UCC effort in solidarity with Hawaiian men who are in federal prison at Saguaro, in Arizona, removed from their families and spiritual advisors by more than 4,000 miles. She closed her moving statement as follows:

 

95% of prisoners return to community. As community members, it is in our best interest to help them through this process so they return to us with some semblance of family and personal connections. If we cannot help them, at the very least, we should do no more harm. Current phone charges are destructive and cruel. They need to be regulated.   

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