Press Releases

Thousands of Demand Progress Members Tell FCC to Cap Rates on Prison Phone Calls

Activists say: This is the FCC’s chance to finish the job in ensuring that all prison phone rates — local or long-distance — are fair and just

Contact: Sara Cederberg at 202.930.1485 or [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on a proposed rule change that would cap rates on all kinds of prison phone calls, Demand Progress filed over 20,000 petition signatures in support of the measure.

In 2013, the FCC took the courageous step of capping rates on long-distance phone calls. But prison telecom companies like Global Tel Link and Securus still rake in big profits on in-state and local calls. Securus closed out 2014 with a record profit of $114.6 million — with their profits rising $10 million every year between 2008 and 2013.

“Prisoners should have the opportunity to stay connected with family and loved ones,” said Sara Cederberg, Campaign Director at Demand Progress. “Companies like Securus Technologies charge up to $10 for a 15-minute call, and these practices disproportionately impact low-income families already struggling to make impossible choices between their utility and phone bills. All eyes are on the FCC this morning to see this critical reform through.”

Click here and here to view the comments and petition, as well as a letter to Chairman Wheeler that Demand Progress joined with 25 other civil and human rights organizations here.