Ohio inmates to pay less for phone calls

State's incarcerated had fourth-highest price in nation for interstate calls
Associated Press
Aug 10, 2013

Ohio inmates, who currently pay the 4th highest price for interstate phone calls in the nation, will see a dramatic reduction in costs following a decision by the Federal Communications Commission.

The group, which labeled the current rates as exorbitant, this week moved to limit how much inmates can be charged for phone calls. As a result, in Ohio, a 15-minute interstate call for which inmates currently pay $17.14 will be capped at $3.75.

The spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, JoEllen Smith, told The Columbus Dispatch that the FCC's ruling means "the rates will decrease for out-of-state calls" made by prison inmates.

The newspaper reports Ohio inmates pay some of the nation's highest rates for interstate calls coming to and from its prisons. The newspaper reports Ohio is only behind Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia.

Ohio inmates also pay other fees, including $3.50 for a completed collect call, $4.95 for a $25 prepaid calling card and $2.99 per month to include a cellphone on an inmate's list of permissible outsider calls.

The state receives an annual $15 million commission from Global Tel(asterisk)Link, which provides the phone service. Part of the money is used to cover employees' educational and training expenses, as well as the wages inmates collect for different prison jobs.

Smith says the state is working with the telecommunications company "to implement the rule in a timely manner."

The FCC ruling sets a 25 cents per minute limit on interstate calls. It also puts an interim rate cap of 12 cents per minute for debit and prepaid calls and 25 cents a minute for collect calls.

The FCC's move came in response to prison-rights advocates' claims that inmates and their families across the country were being overcharged. The commission's chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn, on Friday said the move was long overdue.

The commission in a statement said studies have shown inmates who stay in contact with family and community members while in prison "have a reduced rate of recidivism," adding that "about 2.7 million children would benefit from more frequent communication with an incarcerated parent."

 

Comments

AEversole

Its about time... how about some refunds for the money they have been stealing..........it cost 10 $ for a five min collect call from the county jail. That's 2 $ a min......... that is more than a call to Paris... it is pure theft, just like the money they allow these companies to steal from us at the pumps.......wow look record high prophits again.... good for you, you flippen theives that get rich at the exspence of hard working Americans that are struggling to keep up with the out of control greed that is sucking this country dry..... help us capitol hill

2cents

Oh! I thought Bethany was calling her lawyer to sue her hair stylist =-O

Contango

The crocodile tears are flowing!

After a day of "breaking rocks," they should be too damn tired to pick up a phone anyway.

samiam

Hope the increase in the Federal Universal Service Fee and Federal Subscriber Line Charge on my phone bill are not used to pay for prisoners' phone calls.

BabyCakes

How about you did the crime, pay the time. There is no reason to call anyone, they can talk to you in 15-20.

Sandusksquach

Not many prisoners use those phones now a days at least in state prison. They use cell phones. Even after these reforms it's still less expensive to pay a guard to smuggle one in than to use the pay phones.

he said she said

Baby cakes: I couldn't agree more!!

Prison is supposed to be PUNISHMENT!! It's not supposed to be a reward to someone that has done wrong to another!! The inmates are getting things that people outside working their a#$ off for what little they have can't afford. Make them pay just like everyone else has too!!

I wish I could get free medical care, three meals a day, a free place to sleep, free schooling....and the list goes on...