Iowa Governor pledges to address cost of prison and jail phone calls
by Peter Wagner, December 28, 2015
In August, I gave the keynote address at the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP’s
Iowa Summit on Justice & Disparities and a major topic was the need for prison phone justice. At that meeting, Governor Brandstad announced a Governor’s Working Group On Justice Policy to address several problems, including the need for phone justice.
In September, I testified by phone to the Working Group about steps Iowa could take.
- Renegotiate contracts with the Iowa Communications Network and seek bids from other vendors with the goal of reducing rates paid by prison inmates and their families.
- Transition to a per minute calculation for call costs rather than a flat fee.
- Enable and encourage counties to partner with one another or the Department of Corrections to negotiate more favorable rates with phone vendors.