Today, Public Knowledge joins civil rights, media justice and labor groups calling for further action on unfair prison phone rates. Our statement follows the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to approve a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to comprehensively reform interstate and intrastate inmate calling services for prisons and detention facilities.
The following may be attributed to our joint statement:
“The FCC’s plan to address the cost of local telephone calls to prison, jails and immigration detention facilities is another step toward reducing the unfair financial burden on incarcerated people and their families. We applaud Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn’s leadership to ensure that inmates can maintain contact with parents and grandparents, children, spouses, siblings, clergy and friends.
“Preserving the most reliable way for inmates to keep relationships that matter is one of the best ways to ensure our communities are safer and to decrease re-offenses and reentry into the criminal justice system.
“By taking further action, the FCC can finish the job and eliminate predatory phone rates entirely. The agency has an opportunity to increase transparency in an industry that profits from outrageous fees at the expense of families and address the terrible situation facing inmates with disabilities who often cannot communicate with the outside world.
The civil rights, media justice, and labor community stands behind Wheeler and Clyburn because all families deserve the right to stay connected at reasonable and fair rates, as mandated by the Communications Act. We look forward to rapid completion of this next phase of the FCC’s work.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.