In the era of smartphones and unlimited long distance, individual telephone calls are almost too cheap to measure. But for one group of people — families separated by incarceration — telephones are both a critical lifeline and an unaffordable luxury.
For these families, telephone calls can cost up to $1 a minute because companies compete to get monopoly contracts on the basis of who will charge the families of incarcerated people the most.
The Prison Policy Initiative joined the fight against this predatory industry, and, with our partners, we are winning. Armed with our research and organizing, the Federal Communications Commission recently capped the cost of all calls home from prisons and jails. We are currently developing a strategy to protect the FCC's historic regulations. Stay tuned.
If our work is new to you, you might want to check out our 2014-2015 annual report.