VA’s DOC Director asked the FCC to lower phone call costs and Virginians responded.
Virginia’s Director of Corrections, Harold Clarke, submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission in favor of reasonable telephone costs for prisoners, adding that this stance is guiding the VADOC as they consider a new contract. This is a major step by Virginia’s administration.
Many of you took action and thanked Director Clarke for his bold move on the side of prisoners and prisoners’ families. Between the Community Restoration Campaign and the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, more than 200 thank-you letters have been sent to the VADOC. Thanks also goes to CURE for putting the word out.
“As you know, the phone acts as a lifeline for the children of prisoners keeping in contact with their loved ones,” one writer shared with the Hon. Marla Graff Decker, Secretary of Public Safety, “My real father died in prison when I was in my early 20’s after spending most of my life there since I was 8 years old…and it still leaves a hole in my heart to know we hadn’t truly talked since I was a child.”
Another person wrote to Director Clarke, “I know it can be politically challenging to take principled stands on issues of this kind…But it is the capacity to discern the broader public interest and strength of character to stand on principle that make your leadership so important and so inspirational.”
Let’s hope that this move inspires other states to do the right thing by making phone calls affordable for prisoners and loved ones.