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Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons

NBC News
the Federal Communications Commission
Securus Technologies
Falls Church
Unincarcerated Productions
the U.S. District Court of Appeals
The Human Rights Defense Center
Jenner & Block
Securus Technologies.“The D.C. Circuit
Global Tech Link’s
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the American Civil Liberties Union's
National Prison Project
the Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
Department of Corrections
NBC Nightly News

Maria Marshall
Tammy Duckworth
Spencer Oberg
Ajit Pai
David Fathi
switch.”Bruce Reilly
you.”Paul Wright
David Moore
Josh Elliott
Rollin Cook


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the United States
the District of Columbia Circuit
Rhode Island

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The New York Times
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“Humanized and connected to his family is helping make a reentry plan.”This site is protected by recaptcha Privacy Policy | Terms of ServiceMany people in prison are aware of the high price tag associated with staying connected to loved ones, said Spencer Oberg, who was imprisoned from 2011 to 2018 and is now CEO of Unincarcerated Productions, a company that aims to change negative attitudes toward prisoners and former prisoners.Because of that awareness, he said, many incarcerated people discourage their family members from putting money on their phone accounts because they don’t want to be a financial burden.“I couldn’t even count how many people I knew personally throughout my sentence that either their family members could not afford to put money on the phones so they could stay in touch, or the incarcerated person was not willing to put that burden on their family,” Oberg said.The FCC attempted in 2013 to set new rate caps for interstate calls. The next year, it tried to establish a second cap to regulate intrastate calls.But under the Trump administration and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the agency abandoned the argument that “the Commission has the authority to cap intrastate rates for inmate calling services,” in a letter to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.The Human Rights Defense Center and other prisoners’ rights advocates argue the FCC’s decision benefited inmate calling services because it allowed them to continue charging the higher rates.They also said the decision reflected a conflict of interest because one of Pai’s clients at the law firm Jenner & Block, where he worked before becoming chairman, was Securus Technologies.“The D.C. Circuit has ruled that the FCC currently lacks the authority to regulate the rates of intrastate calls from prisons,” an FCC spokesperson said in a statement in July.The FCC’s decision led to the current interstate calling rates and returned the amount providers can charge as fees to the interim caps set in 2013. The agreement remains in effect.Ninety-two percent of prison phone calls are intrastate, allowing states to make millions off phone calls many struggle to afford.“Our call rates are set based on contracts with individual states and counties, and details of those contracts are generally dictated by competitively bid, public RFPs,” Securus Technologies said in a statement, referring to request for proposals.

As said here by Lindsey Pipia