FCC considers lowering prison calling costs

Oct 04, 2015 12:01 am
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The Federal Communications Commission will vote Oct. 22 on whether to limit rates and fees for phone calls made by prison and jail inmates. The proposal would cap rates at:
• 11 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls, in state or federal prisons.

• 14 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails with 1,000 or more inmates.

• 16 cents /minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails with 350-999 inmates.

• 22 cents /minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails of up to 349 inmates.

Rates for collect calls will be slightly higher in the first year under the plan, and will be phased down to these caps after a two-year transition period. The New York Times reports phone calls from jails and prisons can cost as much as $14 a minute, with service fees often adding another 40 percent. The FCC will vote on the measure at its Oct. 22 open meeting, which includes a live webcast. See the full proposal at the FCC website.

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