FCC Putting A Stop To Gouging Inmates For Phone calls

You have a loved one in prison, which is bad enough, but then you discover that you are also being held as a hostage because of the exorbitant costs of staying in touch with them. In today’s world, everybody is used to have a cell phone and the competition for cell service is intense. That is why just about any cell carrier will offer you an unlimited amount of call time for as little as $30 to $40 dollars a month. However, if you are trying to call a loved on who is incarcerated, be prepared to get gouged.

Over two million people in the United States are jailed in either federal, state, and county correction facilities. More than 12 million people flow through this system each year and what this presents to the private companies that control the telecom services for the jails and prison in the United States is a captive money making opportunity. But they aren’t the only ones cashing in on this because it’s a money maker for the correction facilities too. This all happened because the phone service used in the prisons and jails was privatized. This privatization led to revenue sharing agreements between the private phone companies and the state and local governments that control those correction facilities that they operate in. Ultimately the revenue sharing also provided very little incentive for the state and local governments to discourage gouging the prison’s inmates and by proxy the inmate’s families for the “privilege” of speaking on the phone to each other.

Because of this, the Federal Communication Commission has taken some bold action and ordered rate caps be applied on all companies that provide calling services for inmates. These caps are to become effective March 17th for state and federal institutions and June 20th for local jails. In addition, The FCC has also placed caps on local as well as in-state long distance inmate calls as well as cut the caps by up to 50% for interstate long distance inmate calls.
To see the full article go to News-Press.com in the search box put Tell Mel: Inmate calls too expensive