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Joint Statement on Inmate Calling Rate Cap Taking Effect

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Released: February 11, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Feb. 11, 2014
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253

Statement By Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel on Inmate Calling

Rate Caps Taking Effect

Washington, D.C

. – Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and Commissioner
Jessica Rosenworcel issued the following statement today:
“Although the wheels of justice often turn slowly, relief for families of inmates has finally arrived. Today,
a cap on inmate calling rates ordered by the FCC last fall takes effect, slashing the cost of interstate long-
distance calls in some places by over 80%, from as much as $17 for a 15-minute call to a cap of $3.15 for
that same call. This means that many families will no longer have to choose between talking to their loved
ones in prison and paying their utility bills. It means that society will benefit from the decreased rates of
recidivism that family contact brings.
“While we wish our new rates could have taken effect the day we adopted them last year, today is the end
of an even longer wait – 10 years – for the Washington, D.C. grandmother, Mrs. Martha Wright, who
petitioned the FCC to act in 2003. Prisoners and their families, especially their children, are among the
most vulnerable members of society. These families can now afford to keep in touch because the era of
unreasonable and unjust phones rates has ended. But more remains to be done. We look forward to
working on further reforms of inmate calling rates to ensure that millions of families can stay connected,
for the benefit of their loved ones and for the good of our nation.”
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