A Change Has Finally Come

Amazing news: The Federal Communications Commission is ending the out-of-control pricing on prison phone calls.

For years, prisoners and their families have had to pay up to $20 for a 15-minute call. The high cost of these calls made it difficult — sometimes impossible — for families to stay in touch.

Over 10 years ago, Martha Wright, who faced significant financial challenges while trying to stay in contact with her incarcerated grandson, petitioned the FCC to make prison phone calls affordable. Over the years, people all over the country joined Martha Wright’s cause and helped push the FCC to take action.

Today the FCC approved an order that requires phone companies servicing prisons to establish rates based on actual costs. This means the days of pricy prison phone calls are officially over.

Thanks to the leadership of Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, we’re witnessing the FCC at its very best — acting to protect the interests of the people. But Chairwoman Clyburn didn’t do it alone. The work of the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, the Center for Media Justice, civil rights organizations, public interest groups and activists all contributed to this victory.

“Martha Wright and so many others have waited a very long time for this moment,” said Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron. “For too long, phone companies have preyed on the families of prisoners, charging exorbitant rates and fees that often forced people to choose between paying for phone calls to their loved ones and putting food on the table.

"We’re thrilled that the FCC has finally moved to reduce the cost of these calls, and we thank Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for bringing this to a vote and for her steadfast leadership on an issue the agency ignored for far too long.”

Read Chairwoman Clyburn's amazing and inspiring speech here.