In August 2018, New York City Council passed Intro 0741, making NYC the first U.S. city to agree to make all phone calls free for people who are incarcerated in city jails. This legislation also explicitly states that New York City will no longer receive revenue from these phone calls — NYC was previously generating about $20,000 in daily revenue (or $5 million each year) from its contract with Securus, a private company that provides phone services to NYC jails. Securus was making about $2.5 million each year from its NYC contract.
You can read the full text of Intro 0741 here. Additionally, FFJC published an op-ed and sign-on letter in support of this legislation, and contributed to the Zero Jail Profits Coalition’s victory statement. You can visit our New York Campaign page for further information about upcoming fines and fees reform efforts in the Empire State.
Thousands of people in NYC jails are there solely because a court set money bail beyond what they could afford, 88% are Black and/or Latinx, and nearly all experience deep poverty. Now, they will be able to maintain crucial lifelines to loved ones in the community without sacrificing scarce dollars for the profits of jail profiteer Securus. Furthermore, the years of multi-million dollar contractual kickbacks to New York City from this corporation will finally come to an end. -Zero Jail Profits Coalition