Campaign for Prison Phone Justice

The "Campaign for Prison Phone Justice" is challenging prison phone kickbacks and the U.S. Prison Telephone Industry.

FCC Lays Groundwork for More Curbs on Prisoner Call Rates

Nov 21, 2014 | by admin

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in a long-standing proceeding to reduce the cost of phone calls made from prisons, jails and other detention facilities.

This is an ACTION WORKSHEET we have created to support you and the incarcerated people you are connected with.  Please print it out and share it.  We need you to submit comments answering the FCC’s questions.  To make it easy we have also put up a form with questions that you can respond to.  Even if you only respond to one question that will be one step closer to justice.  Checkout the form here.

Spread the word: The call for prison #phonejustice has been made.  We have 42 days to answer!

“The record is clear that site commissions are the primary reason [inmate calling services] rates are unjust and unreasonable,” the FCC.

The full copy of the Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services; Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is now posted on the FCC’s website.  Attached to this post are ACTION STEP which provides actions to be taken to support the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice’s fight for fair rates.

The FCC is considering banning payments made by telecommunications companies to states for the exclusive rights to provide call services in their prisons and jails, the latest effort by the agency to rein in rates for inmates’ telephone calls.

So-called site commissions have continued to increase since the FCC imposed rate caps last year on out-of-state calls made by inmates, in the agency’s first major curb on the $1.2 billion industry.

According to a study by the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice partner, Prison Legal News, states receive on average 45% of revenue from prisoners’ calls. Data collected by the FCC from 14 service providers revealed more than $460 million in such payments in 2013.

In August 2013, the FCC voted 2-1 to cap interstate charges for prepaid calls at 21 cents per minute and collect calls at 25 cents per minute.  The agency said in its latest proposal that it is also weighing rate caps on local/intrastate calls and eliminating connection fees and other charges, such as those incurred by inmates when they open accounts used to pay for their calls.

The Campaign for Prison Phone Justice and our partners have asked the commission to impose a flat all-distance rate of 7 cents per minute or less.

The FCC proposal is open for comment for the next 45 days.  In the coming days, in addition to theACTION STEPS, the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice will be posting additional actions and steps you can take.