ET Phone Home: Just not from jail

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This appeared in ARS online this week and I really just don’t understand all the fuss…

The FCC says it will put a stop to price gouging in prison. This decision to sue several carriers who provide phone service to the incarcerated went public yesterday and I am confused.   If we remove the very small percentage of those who are in prison and were unjustly placed there, the rest broke the law and no matter if it is white collar crime or a maximum security mash up, a phone call is a luxury and when you break the law it should “hurt” in fact why should phone calls fall under the category of “Human Rights” Take the damn phones out and the problem is solved. “ET phones home …AFTER you do your time.”


“None of us would consider ever paying $500 a month for a voice-only service where calls are dropped for seemingly no reason, where fees and commissions could be as high at 60 percent per call and, if we are not careful, where a four-minute call could cost us a whopping $54,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said before yesterday’s vote.

Mr. Clyburn have you looked at my cell phone bill?   What are all those charges and why aren’t you doing anything about that?

The FCC said its vote “lower[s] the cap to 11 cents per minute for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons, while providing tiered rates for jails to account for the higher costs of serving jails and smaller institutions.”

Remove the phones and we have 0 cents a minute…

Part of the problem is that jails and prisons have been charging phone companies big commissions in exchange for exclusive contracts. These commission payments are passed on to prisoners.

I will repeat myself simply because I can.

“Mr. Clyburn has you looked at my cell phone bill?   What are all those charges and why aren’t you doing anything about that?

The story is not over as many feel the FCC does not have authority under the Communications Act to impose the rules. The prediction is that any caps “will lead to a worse situation for prisoners and convicts,” and that “cost savings from inmate payphone calls will likely be extracted in some other form.” Perhaps another charge assessed to MY phone bill? Line item “Inmate Phone Fund”…

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Original Source: J Brodkin

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