Thanks to a recently approved bill, the FCC can now crack down on predatory prison phone call firms
The Federal Communications Commission will be able to directly control rates in the infamously predatory prison calling market thanks to a brand-new law (which is just waiting for the president's approval). Companies may decide to give up and let a more sympathetic and forward-thinking generation of providers take their place in the market if they are threatened by the requirement to offer a quality product at an affordable price.
Jail calling systems vary widely in quality, from from adequate to startlingly poor, depending on the state and the prison system. Companies had little real incentive to develop because of their essentially captive consumer base, and business strategies that involved paying kickbacks to jails and governments encouraged profit at any costs.
Inmates are frequently subjected to exorbitant fees for basic services like phone calls and video conversations (an upsell), and in other cases, their visitation privileges have been suspended entirely, leaving them with little choice except to make paid calls. It goes without saying that this particular financial burden disproportionately affects low-income and people of color, and it's a billion-dollar industry.
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