Inmate Phone Calls and Reducing Recidivism

Public Domain
Public Domain

In a statement issued last week, the Federal Communications Commission paves the way to reduce the high cost of telephone calls from prison inmates to their social support network.  According to one report, a 15-minute call can run as high as $17.30 for some inmates.  Long distance interstate calls already have rate caps at $0.25/minute for collect calls and $0.21/minute for prepaid calls.  Capping in-state rates would save the social support network of inmates $128 million/year by some estimates.  Many lawyers, myself included, refuse to take calls from inmates, in part because of the expense.

Why should we care?

Communication between inmates and their social support network has been demonstrated to reduce recidivism.

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