In a major step forward for prison phone justice, the FCC has voted to approve strong new protections for inmates and their families who have been subjected to exorbitant rates for calls to and from home.
The vote itself was an emotional event, as testimony from affected family members and a heartfelt speech by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn brought many people in the room to tears. Video is available on the FCC’s YouTube page, and the Center for Media Justice has created a playlist that highlights the experiences of prisoners’ families:
The FCC’s new rules include:
- Rate caps that ensure fair per-minute prices
- Bans or caps on service charges that can add up to 40% to the price of a call
- Discouragement of site commission payments that function as kickbacks from phone providers
- A ban on flat rate calls for a set number of minutes, regardless of whether all of the minutes are actually used
- Required facilitation for people with disabilities
MDF congratulates and thanks the FCC, our grantees, their allies, and the thousands of people who worked hard to with this victory for phone justice.