Sheriff Ashe fought FCC on move to control outsized phone charges at jail

It amounted to a burden on families who could ill afford it. Steep charges, fees through the nose, even outright theft were all baked into the deal.

Yet Prison Policy Initiative Executive Director Peter Wagner got nothing but hostility from Hampden County Sheriff’s Department when he implored the department to amend its former inmate phone service contract with third-party provider GlobalTel Link.

Under the terms, an inmate’s 15-minute call to a family member or friend could cost up to $17 dollars, with 74 percent of that going back to the jail as a “commission.”…

Riverside County jail calls about to get a lot cheaper

The most expensive fee on calls to Riverside County jails will be cut by more than half next week, easing costs for thousands of families who stay in contact with loved ones behind bars.

But a legal battle about the overall cost of calls will continue in federal court.

People who want to receive calls from the jails will no longer have to pay a $7.95 fee when they deposit money into an online call account. The fee is being reduced to $3, according to an order from the Federal Communications Commission, which takes effect on Monday. The order will also erase several other nickel-and-dime fees that are tacked onto bills at the end of every call and every month…

The Prison-Commercial Complex

ORANGE, Conn. — Last week, an order from the Federal Communications Commission that caps rates for United States prison telephone calls went into effect. A late stay by a federal appeals court, sought by phone companies suing the F.C.C., had threatened to delay the order’s implementation. The stay affects several portions of the F.C.C.’s regulation, but key rate caps and restrictions on charges now apply — to the delight of advocates for prisoners and their families who have long criticized the call rates as a form of price gouging.