New federal rate caps on telephone calls by prison inmates [telecom]

NJ.COM reported that the Federal Communications Commission passed a sweeping reform on inmate calling costs Thursday, capping the rates for the first time on local, in-state and long-distance calls. According to the FCC, the "ballooning" rates have cost inmates up to $14 per minute for calls at times made from inside prisons -- a steep expense that has made contact unaffordable for many families with incarcerated relatives.

Some states made a profit above and beyond the expenses of handling inmate calls.

Prison experts say contact with families helps rehabilitation and prevent fights and disruption within the prison.

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