Next Steps on prison and jail phone reform: Joint statement by Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn
by Aleks Kajstura, September 26, 2014
Yesterday, Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn issued the following joint statement regarding the circulation to their fellow commissioners of proposals for further reform of the inmate calling regime:
The wheels of justice turn slowly, but today we prepare to take the next critical step toward reducing the high price paid by inmates and their families to communicate.
Our recent reforms have reduced interstate long-distance inmate calling rates by nearly 40%, and that is a very positive development. But many families of inmates still face exorbitant rates for in-state calls, not to mention punitive and irrational fees—all of which make the simple act of staying in touch unaffordable.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking we are circulating today proposes a simple, market-based solution to address all these problems. It proposes rules that will ensure that ALL Americans – including inmates and their families – have access to phone service at rates that are just, reasonable and fair. We look forward to working with our colleagues to adopt permanent reform as soon as possible.