For inmates like Filiberto Fuentes, phone calls are a lifeline to his children and family. But those calls have come at a high price: sometimes costing over 20 times that of a cellphone call. In the 1980s, telecom companies like GTL and Securus started pushing in to what they saw as a captive market—prisons and jails. They charged high prices, sometimes up to $14 a minute. On October 22, the FCC regulated the costs of inmate phone calls. Will the FCC ruling signal the end to these high prices?
The featured image shows inmates at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, California. (Photo courtesy of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department.)