Earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of lowering collect call rates for prison inmates, and capping the cost of calls at 25 cents per minute. In some states a phone call can cost as much as $1.13 per minute, which often puts a financial strain on inmates' families trying to remain in contact with their loved ones.
The ACLU, Beyond Bars and The Nation* launched a new campaign last week aimed at putting pressure on Global-Tel-Link, one of two large companies that control 80 percent of the prison collect call industry. The FCC's ruling is expected to take effect 120 days after the August 9 ruling, but phone company executives have already challenged the decision.
In their campaign video, 9-year-old Kenny Davis from Nashville, Tennessee talks about how he misses his dad, who's currently incarcerated, and wishes he could talk to him every week. His mother, LaTonya Davis, says they can't make the four-hour commute very often, and the phone calls are too expensive for her as a single parent.
*Post has been updated since publication