For Immediate Release
Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838
Free Press Praises the FCC’s Prison-Phone Decision
WASHINGTON - On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to reduce the exorbitant cost of prison-phone calls charged to incarcerated people and their families. Among other improvements, the ruling caps rates for local and in-state long-distance inmate calling and cuts by up to 50 percent the agency’s cap adopted in August 2013 on state-to-state long-distance calls.
These improvements have been championed by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and supported by a coalition of advocacy organizations that in October delivered 80,000 petition signatures urging the agency to cap rates for all prison-phone calls.
Free Press Senior External Affairs Director Joseph Torres made the following statement:
“Commissioner Clyburn and her colleagues Commissioner Rosenworcel and Chairman Wheeler deserve immense praise for recognizing the injustice of predatory prison-phone rates and taking action on behalf of some of our society’s most vulnerable communities.
“The coalition — which includes MAG-Net, ColorOfChange.org, the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, the Human Rights Defense Center and the United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc. — has worked tirelessly for years to provide relief from the exorbitant prices prison-phone companies have long charged.
“Unscrupulous phone companies like Securus Technologies often charge $10 or more for a 15-minute call — and that’s before tacking on a range of astronomical fees. These charges place an enormous financial burden on both incarcerated people and their families.
“Targeting these families is unacceptable — not to mention harmful to our communities, our economy and our whole society. The FCC’s action will make a difference for millions of people who struggle to stay connected to loved ones. Now they can do it without getting fleeced by unprincipled companies.”
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net