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Protecting families from the prison and jail phone industry

Executive Director Peter Wagner on Al Jazeera's America Tonight on September 30th.

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.

Mass incarceration, state by state

Learn about the national prison crisis and how we can begin to turn the tide on mass incarceration. Then, drill down to your state.

If our work is new to you, you might want to check out our 2018-2019 annual report.

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