Whatever the technology, gouging prison inmates and their families is both unfair and counterproductive, weakening family ties that could be critical to an inmate’s adjustment to the world beyond bars.
Virginia CURE has been supporting legislation to lower the cost of prisoner telephone calls for many years. This year the FCC has set a cap for long distance calls and may take on intra state calls as well. Virginia CURE is curretly advocating for HB 414, patroned by Patrick Hope (D-47), that will lower the comission and apply the funds to prisoner reentry.
“The Federal Communications Commission ended a grave injustice last fall when it prohibited price-gouging by the private companies that provide interstate telephone service for prison and jail inmates. Thanks to the F.C.C. order, which takes effect next month, poor families no longer have to choose between paying for basic essentials and speaking to a relative behind bars. The commission now needs to be on the lookout for — and crack down on, if necessary — similar abuses involving newer communication technologies like person-to-person video chat, email and voice mail. “
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