Campaign for Prison Phone Justice
On August 9, 2013 a decade-long battle came to a momentous close. Through the brave reform proposal of FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, years of advocacy by the phone justice coalition, and the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice associated with the film Middle of Nowhere (Center for Media Justice, MAG-Net), the Federal Communications Commission voted to cap prison phone rates, decreasing the cost of maintaining family connections by nearly 80 percent. The new rules also require phone companies servicing prisons to establish rates based on real costs, not on kickbacks, and provide transparent data.
Martha Wright, the trailblazer behind this ten-year initiative, finally realized the pivotal change she had been fighting for with the help of various impassioned individuals and organizations. This motion will not only alter the lives of millions of families with incarcerated loved ones, but could ultimately impact the future of millions of incarcerated individuals.
For far too long America's prison systems were plagued by high prison phone rates. Families paid nearly ten times the price of a normal call, costing them up to $18 every fifteen minutes to connect with an incarcerated family member. Incarcerated individuals were further isolated from their families by these predatory rates, yet study after study has shown that enhanced contact between families reduces the chances of reincarceration upon release.
Middle of Nowhere is proud to have been a part of this campaign and would like to commend the many organizations that worked to make a difference and demand justice for families across the country.