For years, inmate advocates have argued that the cost of a phone call from a prison or jail is onerously high, and inmates’ families are footing the bill. While the FCC, under the Obama administration, moved to broadly cap rates, the Trump-era agency declined to defend the caps in court, where they were struck down. The result has been a demoralizing setback for those pressing for regulation of the billion-dollar-plus industry.
August, though, has brought some isolated signs of change. Earlier in the month, New York City moved to make all calls from jails free, becoming the first major city to do so. The city council speaker explained in a statement that “the city has been profiting from some of…
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