The FCC’s order was in response to the Wright Petition – a petition for rulemaking filed by Washington, D.C. resident Martha Wright, who challenged the high phone rates she had to pay to accept calls from her incarcerated grandson.
The Wright Petition stemmed from a lawsuit that Mrs. Wright initially filed against Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) – the nation’s largest for-profit prison company.
Last month, just before Thanksgiving, shareholder resolutions were filed with both CCA and The GEO Group – the second-largest private prison corporation – to reduce the cost of phone calls made by prisoners at the companies’ for-profit facilities.
Although CCA and GEO house state and jail prisoners and immigrant detainees on behalf of state, county and federal corrections agencies, they enter into their own separate prison phone contracts with service providers like Global Tel*Link and Securus. CCA and GEO also receive “commission” kickbacks from prison phone companies, just like public corrections agencies.
The shareholder resolutions ask CCA and GEO to forgo commission kickbacks from their prison phone contracts, to give the greatest priority to the lowest overall costs when entering into prison phone contracts, and to issue annual reports on the phone rates and commission percentages and amounts at each of their facilities.
Please take a moment of your time to send a message to CCA and GEO Group by asking them not to oppose the shareholder resolutions and to end high phone rates at their for-profit facilities!
Around 129,000 prisoners are held in privately-operated prisons in the U.S., mostly in CCA and GEO-run facilities, and their families and loved ones should not be price-gouged by high phone rates. The FCC’s order only addresses interstate prison phone rates, but the shareholder resolutions address all prison phone rates at CCA and GEO facilities nationwide.