FCC Votes To Lower Prison Phone Call Costs

August 12, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to make long distance phone calls from prison inmates more affordable. It is an issue that prison reform advocates have pressed for a decade. According to a statement released by the FCC, an estimated 2.7 million children nationwide would benefit from more communication with an incarcerated parent, but a long distance 15 minute collect call from an inmate can cost over $17 dollars. Under the new rules approved by the federal commission, phone companies wont be able to charge more than $3.75 for that call.

Arizona prison reform advocate Donna Leone Hamm said the FCC's action is a victory for inmates' families and sound public policy.

"Any scientifically appropriate study that has ever been done consistently demonstrate that prisoner's who have consistent contact are far less likely to recidivate when they are released from prison," Hamm said.

The new rates will apply to interstate phone calls made from county jails, state and federal prisons and immigrant detention facilities.

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