The Campaign for Prison Phone Justice
The Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, is a national organizing effort to lower the cost of and end kickbacks on prison phone calls, through the implementation of a federal cap, the opening of an FCC docket, and a local-to-local strategy to win institutional reforms.
At a time when prisoners are increasingly housed in facilities hundreds of miles away from their home communities, telephones become for many the only way to stay in touch; for most, this is an offer that cannot be refused. Typically, states receive kickback commissions from the phone companies who receive the contract, creating a situation in which there is no incentive to seek competitive bids. Unsurprisingly rates for such calls are well above market rates, as much as $6 per minute or more.
The skewed public debate on criminal justice has led to regressive and overly punitive policy, more prisons in struggling rural communities, and higher rates of incarceration- with an increase in the disproportionate confinement of low income people and people of color.
Working Narratives, MAG-Net Anchor, leads this campaign effort, with technical support from the Center for Media Justice. Working Narratives has used performance, web, video, and radio to open a public space for incarcerated people, corrections officials, the formerly incarcerated, grassroots activists, and ordinary citizens to dialogue and organize around United State’s criminal justice system. Working together with MAG-Net members the campaign increases the impact of strategic communications and narrative organizing in the criminal justice and media justice sectors, as well as strengthen the collaboration between these two sectors for greater impact.
Read a New Comprehensive Study on Telephone Prison Rates, written by our campaign partner Prison Legal News.