Arkansas has reduced the charge somewhat, but still charges a confiscatory amount on telephone calls made by prison inmates. It's a tax on prisoners and their families and worth millions. It's punishingly cruel.
New York gets it. There, the legislature has repealed the huge charge on inmate phone calls. In its place:
The new law would also require that any contract with a telephone company be awarded to the lowest bidder and guarantee fair market rates for consumers, the families of prisoners who are allowed to speak with incarcerated loved ones only through collect calls.
The law also allows the Department of Correctional Services to create a "prepaid" or collect call system or a combination of both to give consumers payment choices.