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New Congressional Quest: End Prison Phone Call Price Gouging
PJ Media ^ | 4-23-2013 | Bridget Johnson

Posted on 04/23/2013 6:30:01 PM PDT by smoothsailing

April 23, 2013

New Congressional Quest: End Prison Phone Call Price Gouging

Bridget Johnson

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 Commission’s (FCC) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to resolve the issue after more than a decade of delay,” according to D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (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 inmate’s support system and success in reintegration into civil society. Our working group’s 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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Georgia; US: Illinois; US: New Jersey; US: North Carolina; US: Ohio; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: bobbyrush; bobbyscott; corrections; dc; districtofcolumbia; donaldpaynejr; eleanorholmesnorton; fcc; georgia; gkbutterfield; hankjohnson; illinois; inmates; johnlewis; marciafudge; marthawright; newjersey; northcarolina; ohio; ulandisforte; virginia
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1 posted on 04/23/2013 6:30:01 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Has there ever been investigations into fraudulent billing of jailhouse phonecalls to other peoples’ homes?


2 posted on 04/23/2013 6:31:54 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: smoothsailing

I can’t believe they all don’t have Obamaphones with a family plan..


3 posted on 04/23/2013 6:33:24 PM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: smoothsailing

All “Ds” eh.

Remember the prime rule:

If: democrat
Then: Crooked,, slimy, immoral, illegal, and should be waterboarded, , further tortured, put to painful death, and buried in pig Obamastuff.


4 posted on 04/23/2013 6:33:34 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: smoothsailing

Almost never agree with the Congressional Black Caucus on anything, but the prices for prisoners to call family and friends are criminal.


5 posted on 04/23/2013 6:34:42 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: smoothsailing

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.


6 posted on 04/23/2013 6:36:53 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Jim Robinson

Hey Gitmo gets free cable, you gotta pay for it!


7 posted on 04/23/2013 6:38:57 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: SeaHawkFan

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.


8 posted on 04/23/2013 6:42:33 PM PDT by binreadin
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To: Jim Robinson

Damn right, they are prisoners after all. No phones. Let them write one letter a week and receive one letter a week, nothing more.


9 posted on 04/23/2013 6:46:01 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

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.


10 posted on 04/23/2013 6:48:12 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: SeaHawkFan
Almost never agree with the Congressional Black Caucus on anything, but the prices for prisoners to call family and friends are criminal.


11 posted on 04/23/2013 6:49:13 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeaHawkFan

Stop phone calls, problem solved. Let them write one letter a week and receive one letter a week. Period.


12 posted on 04/23/2013 6:49:30 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

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.


13 posted on 04/23/2013 7:03:26 PM PDT by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: wetgundog

That’s the ticket!


14 posted on 04/23/2013 7:07:36 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay for the cell phone time!


15 posted on 04/23/2013 7:10:17 PM PDT by aynrandfreak (Being a Democrat means never having to say you're sorry)
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To: SeaHawkFan

Agree. Same for jail. Don’t ask how I know.


16 posted on 04/23/2013 7:12:51 PM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (Based on a letter from an 8 year old…school is now illegal...'cuz it’s yuckey and dumb'.)
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To: SeaHawkFan

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.


17 posted on 04/23/2013 7:13:02 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: smoothsailing

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.


18 posted on 04/23/2013 7:16:07 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: SeaHawkFan

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.


19 posted on 04/23/2013 7:23:24 PM PDT by Lawgvr1955 (You can never have too much cowbell !!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks smoothsailing.
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?


20 posted on 04/23/2013 7:26:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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