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FCC Takes Aim at ‘Egregious Prison Calling Rates’

The Federal Communications Commission is taking aim at companies that provide calling services for prison inmates....
FCC Takes Aim at ‘Egregious Prison Calling Rates’
Written by Matt Milano
  • The Federal Communications Commission is taking aim at companies that provide calling services for prison inmates.

    There are several companies in the US that provide calling and email services for inmates and their families. Unfortunately, many of these companies charge ‘egregious rates’ that border on predatory behavior.

    Congress recently passed the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 and the bill is now awaiting President Biden’s signature. The bill gives the FCC the authority to address this behavior.

    “Too many families of incarcerated people must pay outrageous rates to stay connected with their loved ones,” said FCC Chairwomen Jessica Rosenworcel. “This harms the families and children of the incarcerated—and it harms all of us because regular contact with kin can reduce recidivism.

    “The FCC has for years moved aggressively to address this terrible problem, but we have been limited in the extent to which we can address rates for calls made within a state’s borders. Today, thanks to the leadership of Senators Duckworth, Portman and their bipartisan coalition, the FCC will be granted the authority to close this glaring, painful, and detrimental loophole in our phones rate rules for incarcerated people.

    “I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Commission to expeditiously move new rules forward to fix this problem. I also want to highlight the late Martha Wright-Reed for her courageous voice and thank my former colleague Mignon Clyburn for carrying this issue forward at the FCC.”

    The bill, and the FCC’s new authority, should provide relief for families of inmates, not to mention send a warning to companies that take advantage of situations to engage in predatory behavior.

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