Colorlines: The Criminal Cost of Talking to a Loved One Behind Bars

For many of our loved ones who are jailed or incarcerated, being able to make a phone call is a precious way to be able to keep connected, to fight loneliness, and to be reassured that you are not alone as you fight your charges.  Private companies that oversee the prison phone calls, however, capitalize on this and charge ridiculously high amounts for this connection, with rates for a 15 minute phone call as expensive as $10.95.  42 states in the nation actually receive a commission out of these calls as well.  This week, the Center for Media Justice, along with Prison Legal News and Working Narratives, launched an effort to get prison phone rates onto the FCC’s legislative to-do list.  Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

The Criminal Cost of Talking to a Loved One Behind Bars

Story By Leticia Miranda
Art by Hatty Lee
May 14, 2012
Colorlines

When Martha Wright’s grandson was moved to a prison outside of her hometown of Washington, DC., she didn’t expect that a short 5-minute conversation with him could cost up to $18.

“You just have to get everything out in one line,” she laughs.

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