FCC considers next steps to protect families from predatory prison and jail telephone industry.
by Peter Wagner, October 17, 2014
We need your help now to counter the powerful prison phone lobby.
Today, by a 3 to 2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission agreed to take the next steps to regulate the prison and jail telephone industry. In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the FCC is actively considering, among other things:
- Extending the existing regulation and price caps on interstate calls to all calls, including calls within the same state.
- Further restricting the ability of the industry to make kickback payments to the prison and jail facilities, which currently drives up the call rates.
- Fully addressing the ancillary charges for opening, maintaining, funding and closing accounts that consume an estimated 400 million dollars per year.
The actual notice is not yet public, and we’ll have a more detailed analysis of the new order when it’s out, but it’s clear that we have a lot of work to do in a short period of time — and we need your support to get the work done.
The notice is likely to ask hundreds of detailed questions about how the current system works. We’ll need to provide those answers — and rebut the telephone industry’s recent proposal that would stunt reform — in a short amount of time. We won’t know the exact date until the notice is published in the Federal Register, but we estimate that the first round of comments will be due in early December.
The Prison Policy Initiative’s track record is clear. But we need your financial support to gather all of this information and organize the stories of the millions of people being exploited by this industry all in the next few months. Can you help us affect change once again with a gift today?
Right now, a group of donors will match the first $19,000 we raise. Please help us reach this goal as soon as possible so we can get back to the work of protecting the nation’s poorest families from the predatory prison and jail industry. Please contribute generously today.