Last Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the F.C.C. overstepped its authority when it instituted a rate cap on in-state prison phone calls. This ruling is the latest reversal of Obama-era regulations, and its got many people worried.
Madison Urban Ministries Director, Linda Ketcham, explains the risk involved with increasing the cost of inmate phone calls. For mothers in prison, the ability to speak with their children is often an indicator of their success upon release. Phone calls are withheld as a form of punishment, leaving inmates unable to contact their families. Increasing costs will make it that much further.
This ruling is emblematic of a new F.C.C., according to Barry Orton, UW-Madison Professor Emeritus. By not defending its previously held position, the F.C.C. is giving power back to the prison telephone industry.