Senators Intro Bipartisan Bill to Help Inmates Stay in Touch with Family

Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) last week introduced the Inmate Calling Technical Corrections Act to help families keep in touch with incarcerated relatives. The legislation is aimed at addressing long-standing concerns regarding predatory inmate calling rates at prison facilities. It would also affirm the FCC authority to address a market failure to protect family, clergy, and counsel who communicate with prisoners, inmates, and detainees. This legislation also makes clear that the obligations of fairness in inmate communications apply to all individuals, including those living with a disability. “The vast majority of prisoners will eventually be released, and it’s only common-sense that—once they’ve repaid their debt to society—we should do whatever we can to ensure they do not return to a life of crime and instead have a chance to succeed,” said Duckworth. “Preserving contact with family members during incarceration can help make that a reality, but market failures unique to the prison telecommunications industry can make that more difficult. Fortunately, there is bipartisan agreement that the law should be clarified to enable the FCC to finally address those market failures.” Studies have shown that keeping in touch with family members can help reduce recidivism rates. Learn more here.

Tiffany D. Cross