During the summer of 2018, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice voted to reduce the price of phone calls made from Texas prisons. Previously, incarcerated people paid an average of $0.26 per minute to call their loved ones; now the rate is $0.06 per minute, and the time limit for calls was increased from 20 to 30 minutes.
This decision comes in the wake of a federal court’s 2017 ruling overturning an Obama-era Federal Communications Commission rule that created a rate cap of $0.11 per minute for phone calls made from prisons. Earlier in the summer, Texas Representative James White wrote a letter to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that called for affordable call prices and an end to Texas’ financial gain from incarcerated people.
A well-negotiated contract may result in lower costs, which may have the impact of increasing call volume and revenue: Lower call cost, more positive familial connectivity, better rehabilitation, lower recidivism, more local community safety and prosperity. -Rep. James White