The FCC Tried to Cap Rates on the Prison Industrial Complex — Here’s What Happened Instead

You may have heard of the prison industrial complex, but there is also an entire industry that just manages prison phones — the Verizons and AT&Ts of American prisons. Last week, those companies gained major ground in the fight to keep them in check.After legal pressure from the prison telecoms industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a new set of caps on what those telecoms can charge vulnerable families to keep in touch with incarcerated loved ones over the phone. The former cap on phone calls was 11 cents per minute. If the new proposal passes, it’ll be a sliding scale of 13 to 31 cents, based on the size of the facility.For decades, the cost of keeping in touch with a relative in jail has been crippling. The Ella Baker Center published in September found that one in three families of inmates goes into debt just to cover the cost of calls and communications with that inmate. Read More


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