New Jersey legislation aims to protect in-person visits from video visitation

by Bernadette Rabuy, December 22, 2016

As our research has shown, local jails are increasingly replacing in-person visitation with glitchy, expensive video visits. Fortunately, New Jersey Assemblyman Gordon Johnson has introduced legislation that would protect in-person visitation from being eliminated in New Jersey jails. Check out the press release from the New Jersey Phone Justice Campaign below:

Legislation Introduced to Restore Face to Face Family Visits in New Jersey Jails
Advocates Applaud Legislators Call for Reduced Cost for those Incarcerated and their Families

For Immediate Release, December 8, 2016
Contact: Karina Wilkinson, KarinaWilkinson@gmail.com

Trenton, NJ – Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) introduced legislation this week to guarantee face to face family visits for individuals incarcerated in New Jersey. The bill, A4389, would cap costs at 11 cents per minute, ban commissions, require refunds for poor quality and ban fees on professional visits from lawyers and clergy. Similar legislation governing phone rates in prisons and jails was signed into law in August, 2016.

“We applaud Assemblyman Johnson for taking the lead on ensuring that people incarcerated in New Jersey and their families are not taken advantage of by an unregulated industry that is only interested in profits and counties that are looking to gain revenue off of those who can least afford it,” said Karina Wilkinson of the New Jersey Phone Justice Campaign (NJPhoneJustice.org). “We also welcome Congresswoman Duckworth’s efforts at the federal level to require the FCC to regulate video visitation.”

Also this week, Congresswoman Duckworth (IL-8) introduced federal legislation, the Video Visitation in Prisons Act of 2016, that would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate video visitation services, including capping rates, ensuring quality and banning the elimination of in-person visits.

Read more here.

For more on video visitation nationally, check out our video visitation page.

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