National Consumers League

NCL statement on FCC decision to not enforce affordable prison phone rate price caps


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February 13, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, (202) 207-2832, cindyh@nclnet.org

Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today expressed disappointment in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to not defend its rule capping intrastate prison phone rates.

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League:

The National Consumers League is disappointed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to not defend the FCC's rules implementing price caps for intrastate prison phone calls. Capping rates at reasonable levels is common sense as numerous studies have shown that providing prisoners access to family members and loved ones dramatically reduces recidivism. Unfortunately, at the exorbitant rates charged by most prison phone providers, keeping in touch with incarcerated loved ones is not an option for many working families. The predatory prison payphone marketplace has made a living off of charging the prison population and their families rates that far exceed those found in the general marketplace. This forces many low-income families to choose between talking to an incarcerated family member, or buying the medicine or food their family needs to survive. We call upon Chairman Pai to reconsider his decision not to defend permanent intrastate rate caps and empower families to stay connected.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.