Advocates Praise FCC’s Decision to Lower Prison Phone Rates

After ten years, the FCC finally acted.

By Jamilah King Aug 16, 2013

Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and a lead activist who helped pressure the FCC to lower the cost of interstate prison phone calls, published an op-ed on The Hill this week praising the commission’s actions:

Thanks to the new rules, these kickbacks will no longer be considered the "cost of doing business," and "fair compensation" laws that previously only applied to phone companies will require that carriers consider consumer affordability. As a result, prices will now range from 10 to 30 cents a minute. 

This vote doesn’t just ease the financial burden on families of incarcerated loved ones. Research demonstrates that keeping families connected reduces the return rate to prison, is fiscally responsible, strengthens families and keeps communities safer. Our country’s incarcerated population is serving their time, but they have legal right to affordably communicate with their loved ones.

The Commission voted last week to lower the cost of interstate prison phone rates thanks in large part to a decades-long campaign to bring attention to the issue by inmates, their families, and their allies.