Urge Congress to Pass Phone Justice for Incarcerated People and Their Families
Prison phone rates are astronomical — a local 15-minute phone call can run as high as $25 in some facilities. Many families simply can’t afford these sky-high rates.1 For the 2.7-million children with an incarcerated parent, this can mean forgoing phone calls that could help them maintain healthy relationships. And now, with the pandemic forcing families to rely exclusively on these costly services to stay connected, the need for affordable rates has never been greater.
But now there’s hope for change: Two new bills would bring phone justice for millions of families.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Bobby Rush, both Democratic lawmakers from Illinois, have each reintroduced legislation that would clarify that the FCC has the legal authority to stop the predatory behaviors of prison-phone corporations — opening the door for millions of families to connect.
Both bills are named in honor of Martha Wright-Reed, a champion in the fight for prison-phone justice. For more than 20 years, Mrs. Wright-Reed fought for affordable prison-phone rates as phone calls were the only way she could stay in touch with the grandson she raised and loved.
Tell Congress to support the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act in the Senate and the Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act in the House.
1. “State of Phone Justice: Local Jails, State Prisons and Private Phone Providers,” Prison Policy Initiative, February 2019
2. “Prison Phone Justice is a Gender Justice Issue: The Legacy of Mrs. Martha Wright-Reed,” MediaJustice, March 8, 2019