Families often spend close to $500 a month to communicate with their imprisoned loved ones. This creates hardships between the inmates and the families because of the expensive rates the prison communication industry charges. At one time, communications was a lucrative business to be involved in within the prison systems. But in the fall of 2015, the FCC stepped in and placed a rate cap on all prison related phone calls and stopped the add-on fees that was incurred on each call.
Families often went without just so they could communicate with their loved ones that are imprisoned. They had to make a choice between necessities and communications and necessities was what they chose to do without. The FCC manage to get the cost per minute down to 11 cent. But two major prison communication companies, Securus Technologies and Global Tel*Link, sued the FCC stating that the FCC disregarded the cost of providing the communication for the prison systems. This lawsuit put the rate caps on hold and the new rates wasn’t put into effect til 2016.
The co-lead for the Campaign For Prison Phone Justice, Steven Renderos stated that he was disappointed in the new, higher rates the FCC accepted. But remains hopeful that the new rates will start soon. This is somewhat great news because all calls made either locally or nationwide will be put under a standard set of rates. These new rates are still considered more affordable even if they are a higher rate than the year earlier.
During the same month that the FCC vote was made, Hillary Clinton had stated they would not accept any monies from prison lobbyist or anyone affiliated with the prison system. But before Clinton’s vow, she had accepted a small donation of $300,000 from a similar group.