Skip to comments.New Congressional Quest: End Prison Phone Call Price Gouging
Posted on 04/23/2013 6:30:01 PM PDT by smoothsailing
April 23, 2013
The Congressional Black Caucus Working Group on Prison Telecomm Reform is protesting high call costs for phone-homers behind bars.
The CBC group will hold a press conference with former inmates and family members to expose the often exorbitant rates that prisoners and their families are being charged for telephone calls and to announce the CBC response to the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to resolve the issue after more than a decade of delay, according to D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Nortons (D) office.
Prison calling rates can be as much as $4 per-call plus a 55-cents per-minute charge
CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) will be joined by the original plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, Martha Wright, a District resident who will speak along with her grandson, Ulandis Forte, a former inmate. Forte finished an 18-year sentence for murder in June.
Other members of the task force in addition to Norton are Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).
D.C. residents are incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), where the rates are high but not nearly as high as in many state prisons, said Norton. Extensive evidence has long established the direct correlation between communication with relatives and others in an inmates support system and success in reintegration into civil society. Our working groups investigation of this issue, reflected in our comments released today, shows that only a national remedy from the FCC can mitigate the harm to society, inmates and their families alike.
D.C. Code felons are transported and incarcerated throughout the country, and therefore forced to pay interstate phone call rates that are often significantly higher than the already high intrastate rates that residents of the 50 states generally pay, she said.
Has there ever been investigations into fraudulent billing of jailhouse phonecalls to other peoples’ homes?
I can’t believe they all don’t have Obamaphones with a family plan..
All “Ds” eh.
Remember the prime rule:
Then: Crooked,, slimy, immoral, illegal, and should be waterboarded, , further tortured, put to painful death, and buried in pig Obamastuff.
Almost never agree with the Congressional Black Caucus on anything, but the prices for prisoners to call family and friends are criminal.
Just cut off the fricken phone privileges already! And the internet. and the TV. Bleeding heart liberals coddling of the criminal dregs of society is costing us way too much money. Bring back the chain gang!! We have plenty of swamps needing draining and plenty of holes to dig or fill in the desert.
Hey Gitmo gets free cable, you gotta pay for it!
I agree. As more and more families are touched by the endless piling on of laws that criminalize a growing sector of our population even middle class law-abiding people are seeing first hand how deeply big money and a corrupted justice system are connected. As a result we are sacrificing a large portion of our young male population. They talk about a war on women, but the Dems really need to grow some and take on our unjust legal system from the bottom up. I’m not talking about going easy on hard core criminals here, but I am talking about giving at least first-time offenders of non-violent crimes and their families a break. One mistake can ruin someone’s life now, and things we used to get away with routinely are now an excuse to take away a young person’s future.
Damn right, they are prisoners after all. No phones. Let them write one letter a week and receive one letter a week, nothing more.
I guess I have to agree with them on this. If some well connected company is making a killing on this because they can. The rates should be the same as for anyone else. I do, however, think the calling privileges should be pretty limited, they are in jail, after all. I would add that if some of the expense is to pay for the monitoring of their calls, then I think the higher rates are justified. I doubt that’s the case though.
Stop phone calls, problem solved. Let them write one letter a week and receive one letter a week. Period.
The high cost is probably beause these calls need to be monitored for incarcerated felons trying to scam or do crtiminal acts via the phone. Take them out and the tv too.
Work them so hard they don’t have the energy to do anything but sleep.
That’s the ticket!
Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay for the cell phone time!
Agree. Same for jail. Don’t ask how I know.
They’re not criminal, they’re crony capital. These contracts are some of the most sought after political perks in Illinois. You’re guaranteed millions in profits from just a single prison phone contract.
I agree with them.
They shouldn’t be charged any more than the prison’s cost to provide the phone service. And the prison should be negotiating for low rates.
Local jails also impose these confiscitory fees on phone calls of these being held before trial, those yet to be convicted. So it is not just the hard core felon convict involved.
The Congressional Black Caucus Working Group on Prison Telecomm Reform is protesting high call costs for phone-homers behind bars.Gosh, and why would the Black Caucus care about phone-homeys behind bars?