Fighting For the Right to Call Home

Fighting For the Right to Call Home

There are over two million men and women incarcerated in the United States and most cannot afford to call their families.

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These are the facts: there are over two million men and women incarcerated in the United States. Over half of the US prison population is held at least 100 miles from their families. And for most of those incarcerated, a fifteen minute phone call is prohibitively expensive.

For years, telephone companies have paid prisons for the right to be the sole provider at their facilities—the cost of these commissions are passed on to the prisoners and their families in the form of high rates, surcharges, and fees. A fifteen minute call can cost families as much as $20.

Thankfully, that may soon be changing, at least in part. On August 9th, the FCC passed a set of rules that will drastically reduce the cost of interstate phone calls between prisoners and their family and contacts on the outside. But these new rules won’t reduce costs for in-state calls, and don’t address the needs of hard-of-hearing and deaf inmates. This video, produced by Line Break Media in association with the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, outlines the next steps to making calls more affordable for all prisoners. Learn more about the campaign at PhoneJustice.org, and take a moment to thank FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn and other champions who helped make this victory possible.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

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