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APPENDIX C

APPENDIX D

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
ADOPTED BY THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES
August 8-9, 2005

RECOMMENDATION

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourages federal, state, territorial and
local governments, consistent with sound correctional management, law enforcement and
national security principles, to afford prison and jail inmates reasonable opportunity to maintain
telephonic communication with the free community, and to offer telephone services in the
correctional setting with an appropriate range of options at the lowest possible rates.

1

115B

REPORT
Telecommunications services are integral to human interaction in today’s society.
Accessing these services is especially important to people who are incarcerated, separated from
family, friends and legal counsel by the fact of incarceration. Telephone access is particularly
important for the significant percentage of the incarcerated population with limited literacy
skills.1
Leaders in the corrections profession have long recognized the importance of extending
telephone privileges to people in their custody as a means of fostering and strengthening ties
with their families and their communities.2 Telephone access can be a critical component of a
prisoner’s successful transition to a productive, law-abiding life after leaving prison.3 It can also
contribute to safer prisons by reducing the number of disciplinary incidents.4 At the same time,
we recognize that the desire to provide robust communications services to prisoners remains in
tension with legitimate penological constraints of the correctional setting.5
Although recognizing the importance of providing expansive telephone privileges, many
correctional systems engage in practices that make it difficult, if not impossible, for incarcerated
people to use the telephone. First, many correctional facilities only permit prisoners to make
1

Approximately 40% of the national prison population is functionally illiterate. The Center on Crime,
Communities & Culture, Education as Crime Prevention: Providing Education to Prisoners, Research Brief:
Occasional Paper Series 2 (Sept. 1997).
2

See, e.g., the October 1996 Resolution on Excessive Phone Tarriffs adopted by the American Correctional
Association (ACA); ACA’s Public Correctional Policy on Inmate/Juvenile Offender Access to Telephone (adopted
24 January 2001); and ACA’s related standards (Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions (3rd ed.); Standards
for Adult Local Detention Facilities (3rd ed.); Standards for Adult Community Residential Facilities (4th ed.);
Standards for Adult Correctional Boot Camp Programs (1st ed.); Standards for Juvenile Community Residential
Facilities (3rd ed.); Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities (3rd ed.); Standards for Juvenile Correctional Boot
Camp Programs (1st ed.); Standards for Juvenile Training Schools (3rd ed.); Standards for Small Juvenile Detention
Facilities (1st ed.); and Small Jail Facilities (1st ed.)). See also, the National Sheriffs’ Association Resolution of 14
June 1995; and USDOJ-BOP, Program Statement 5264.06, Telephone Regulations for Inmates (Jan. 31, 2002).
3

See, e.g., U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Criminal Calls: A Review of the
Bureau of Prisons’ Management of Inmate Telephone Privileges, Ch. II, n.6 (Aug. 1999), available at
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/9908/callsp2.htm (last accessed 30 January 2005)(“telephone usage and other
contacts with family contribute to inmate morale, better staff-inmate interactions, and more connection to the
community, which in turn has made them less likely to return to prison….”) and State of Louisiana Department of
Public Safety and Corrections, Time in Prison: The Adult Institutions, p. 5 (2004).
4

Bureau of Prisons Program Statement 5264.07, “Telephone Regulations for Inmates,” codified at 28 C.F.R
§ 540.100 (“Telephone privileges are a supplemental means of maintaining community and family ties that will
contribute to an inmate’s personal development. . . . Contact with the public is a valuable tool in the overall
correctional process.”); State of Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Time in Prison: The Adult
Institutions, p. 5 (2004), available at http://www.corrections.state.la.us/Whats%20NEw/PDFs/TimeInPrison.pdf.
5

The “correctional setting” refers to facilities where people are detained or incarcerated, irrespective of their
actual status as pretrial, civilly committed, adjudicated, or sentenced. Thus, the Recommendation encompasses jails
and other detention facilities, prisons, training schools, residential facilities, and correctional facilities of all types.

2

collect calls. Second, charges for prisoner-initiated telephone calls are high as compared to rates
offered in the residential and business markets and, in some cases, excessive.6 In some
jurisdictions, escalating prices appear to be driven by “commissions” paid by service providers to
correctional facilities for exclusive contracts, which hover in the 30% to 40% range, and can be
as high as 65%, of all revenue generated. Third, many correctional systems require telephone
service providers to block calls from prisoners to certain prohibited phone numbers for reasons
of public safety and crime prevention. Some institutions, however, impose call-blocking
requirements for inappropriate reasons, including a local carrier’s failure to enter into a billing
agreement with the provider, or because the number called is a cell phone or is a remote call
forwarding number. In the case of calls placed to cell phones, many telephone service
subscribers are opting for cellular service instead of the more conventional land-line connection.
Remote call forwarding is a technology that has been employed by some telephone service
providers to compete for business by re-directing calls to customers at costs lower than would
otherwise apply. In an age of increasing mobility, it will often be possible to reconcile legitimate
security concerns with new technologies. Fourth, many prison systems and jails place
unreasonable limits on the number of calls a prisoner is allowed to make or receive, or the
aggregate amount of time a prisoner can spend on the telephone during a prescribed period.7
Finally, correctional institutions monitor and record inmate telephone calls routinely, but policies
that permit monitoring client-attorney communications in the correctional setting or that
unreasonably limit the availability of permissible unmonitored calls threaten fundamental rights
regarding the effective assistance of counsel and access to the courts.8 Such policies are
presumptively unconstitutional.9

6

“[C]orrectional agencies should discourage profiteering on tarriffs placed on phone calls which are far in
excess of the actual cost of the call, and which could discourage or hinder family or community contacts.” ACA’s
October 1996 Resolution on Excessive Phone Tarriffs.
7

In Texas prisons, inmate access to telephones is quite limited. “Offenders who demonstrate good behavior
can earn one 5-minute collect phone call every 90 days. . . .” Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional
Institutions Divisions, Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/faq/faq-cid.htm#telephone)(last
accessed 16 January 2005).
By comparison, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policy is generous. BOP Program Statement 5264.07
entitled, “Telephone Regulations for Inmates,” which was codified at 28 C.F.R § 540.100 et seq., states that inmates
are generally permitted privileges to contact up to a maximum of 30 individuals on an approved telephone list for up
to 300 minutes per month. P.S. 5264.07, §§ 10.a. (30 numbers), and 10.d.(1)(300 minutes). Although advocating
that then-unlimited telephone access be restricted, the Office of the Inspector General found the 300-minute
limitation to be “arbitrary.” Criminal Calls, supra n. 3, Ch. VIII, § I. ¶ 1. (Aug. 1999), available at:
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/9908/callsp7.htm#Punishments (last accessed 30 January 2005). Indeed, for
several consecutive years, the BOP has permitted inmates 400 minutes of telephone access during the months of
November and December.
8

The U.S. Attorney General signed a directive on 31 October 2001 authorizing correctional officials to
monitor inmate-client/attorney communications under certain circumstances. AG Order No. 2529-2001, 66 FR
55062. That directive was subsequently codified at 28 C.F.R. 501.3 (31 Oct. 2001).
9

See infra, n. 14.

3

As the billed parties for inmate collect calls, the family and friends of incarcerated people
regularly shoulder the high cost of prison telephone services. A call recipient is often confronted
with a choice of paying exorbitant rates for a collect call from a jail or prison, or refusing it.
Many families cannot afford the inflated rates.10 One damaging result is that children are
frequently unable to maintain contact with parents who are confined. Arbitrarily blocked calls
only exacerbate the situation.
Individually and collectively, the foregoing practices also make it more difficult for
incarcerated people to communicate with their lawyers. Telephone calls are an efficient means
for attorneys to communicate with incarcerated clients, particularly when literacy or Englishspeaking skills are a factor. It is regularly less burdensome for an attorney to speak with a client
over the telephone than to travel to the facility and conduct a meeting or personal interview. The
high cost of prisoner phone calls makes it difficult or impossible for many prisoners’ lawyers to
accept their calls. The vast majority of incarcerated people are represented by public defenders
or court-appointed attorneys who operate with extremely limited budgets.11 This has serious
implications given the constitutional protections surrounding a prisoner’s ability to communicate
with counsel.12 When attorneys are able to accept prisoner calls, the high cost of the calls cuts
into the attorneys’ budgets, making it difficult for them to afford other items necessary to their
clients’ defense.
Correctional administrators struggle with the perennial problem of stretching limited
financial resources to meet institutional needs. The lure of telecommunications contracts that
promise a return of as much as 65% of all revenue can appear irresistible in the absence of
alternative sources of revenue. But entering into such an arrangement creates an ethical
quagmire of both real and perceived conflicts which compromise both the professional integrity
of correctional officials and the public’s perception. Given the penological and societal benefits
that occur when incarcerated people are able to maintain contact with the outside world, the
monetary advantages are not worth the human costs. 13
10

See, e.g., In the Matter of: Implementation of Pay Telephone Reclassification and Compensation Provisions
of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Comments of the Ad Hoc Coalition for the Right to Communicate Regarding
Petition for Rulemaking or, in the Alternative, Petition to Address Referral Issues in Pending Rulemaking, and
accompanying declarations, FCC Docket No. 96-128 (filed 10 March 2004).
11

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 82% of felony defendants in state cases in the 75 largest
counties in the country in 1996, and 66% of felony defendants in federal cases in 1998 were represented by courtappointed attorneys. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Defense Counsel in Criminal Cases, Nov. 2000.
Both public defenders and other court-appointed counsel are paid by the same governments (state and federal) whose
monies are used to fund the correctional systems from which inmate telephone calls originate. Given the current fiscal
crisis in governments at all levels, exorbitant rates for inmate-generated telephone calls seem particularly pernicious.
12

Compare Alabama v. Shelton, 535 U.S. 654 (2002) and Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)
(indigent’s constitutional right to counsel in criminal cases) with Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996) and Bounds v.
Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977)(prisoners’ right of access to the courts with regard to certain civil and post-conviction
matters).
13

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services does not accept commissions on inmate telephone
charges. Instead, rates are set by the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Nebraska Department of Correctional
Services, Frequently Asked Questions, available at:
http://www.corrections.state.ne.us/frequent_questions/telephone-index.html (last accessed 30 January 2005).
4

Although some courts have recognized the constitutional problems inherent in
correctional policies that make it impossible for prisoners to contact lawyers and others,14 neither
the courts15 nor regulatory agencies16 have yet required correctional authorities to abandon solesource contracts and open the prison environment to competition that could result in a broader
range of calling options at the lowest possible rates.
The resolution encourages federal, state, territorial and local governments to ensure that
incarcerated people are afforded a reasonable opportunity to maintain telephonic communication
with family and friends in the free community, consistent with the imperatives of correctional
management, law enforcement and national security. While the resolution does not go further to
specify particular measures correctional authorities must take to ensure the “reasonable

14

Courts have long recognized that the ability to communicate privately with an attorney by telephone is
essential to the exercise of the constitutional rights to counsel and to access to the courts. Murphy v. Waller, 51
F.3d 714, 718 & n.7 (7th Cir. 1995)(“Restrictions on a detainee’s telephone privileges that prevented him from
contacting his attorney violate the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. . . . In certain limited circumstances,
unreasonable restrictions on a detainee’s access to a telephone may also violate the Fourteenth Amendment.”);
Tucker v. Randall, 948 F.2d 388, 390-91 (7th Cir. 1991)(denying a pre-trial detainee telephone access to his lawyer
for four days would implicate the Sixth Amendment); Johnson-El v. Schoemehl, 878 F.2d 1043, 1051 (8th
Cir.1989)(holding that inmates’ challenge to restrictions on the number and time of telephone calls stated a claim for
violation of their rights to counsel); Miller v. Carlson, 401 F. Supp. 835 (M.D. Fla. 1975), aff’d & modified on other
grounds, 563 F.2d 741 (5th Cir. 1977)(granting a permanent injunction precluding the monitoring and denial of inmates’
telephone calls to their attorneys). See also Dana Beyerle, Making Telephone Calls From Jail Can Be Costly, Times

Montgomery Bureau (Sept. 22, 2002)(Etowah, Alabama county jail under court order to provide phones to people
incarcerated in the jail based in part on complaints they could not talk to lawyers). They have accordingly held that,
when prisons’ collect call-only policies interfere with the ability of incarcerated people to communicate with their
lawyers, they may violate these rights. See, e.g., Lynch v. Leis, Docket No. C-1-00-274 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 19,
2002)(holding that where public defender’s office and many private attorneys refused most collect calls, a prison’s
collect call-only policy was unconstitutional)(unpublished decision on file with the Brennan Center); In re Ron
Grimes, 208 Cal. App. 3d 1175, 1178 (1989)(holding that switch by Humboldt County (California) Jail from coin
operated to collect-only calls violated the constitutional rights of people incarcerated there because the public
defender’s office, other county departments, and some private attorneys did not accept collect calls).
15

See, e.g., Arsberry v. Illinois, 244 F.3d 558 (7th Cir. 2000). Illinois granted one phone company the
exclusive right to provide telephone services to inmates in return for 50 percent of the revenues generated. Prisoners
and members of their families challenged the practice as a violation of their free speech rights, as a discriminatory
denial of equal protection of the laws, and as a violation of federal anti-trust laws. In the Arsberry case, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit concluded that the practice did not violate the constitution or any
federal law. See, also, Daleure v. Kentucky, 119 F. Supp. 2d 683 (W.D. Kentucky 2000)(The court found
defendants’ actions did not violate the Constitution); Miranda v. Michigan, 141 F. Supp. 2d 747 (E.D. Mich.
2001)(Plaintiff’s Federal Telecommunications Act claims fell within the primary jurisdiction of the Federal
Communications Commission and were dismissed).
16

See, e.g., In the Matter of Wright Petition for Rulemaking or, in the Alternative, Petition to Address
Referral Issues in Pending Rulemaking, CC Docket 96-128 (Federal Communications Commission)(decision
pending); In re: Petition of Outside Connection, Inc., DA 03-874 (Federal Communications Commission);
Voluntary Remand of Inmate Telephone Services Issues. CC Docket No. 96-128 (Federal Communications
Commission); and North Carolina Utilities Commission, Docket No. P-100, Sub 84; Docket No. P-55, Sub 1005;
and Docket No. P-100, Sub 126, These cases were matters in which prisoner advocates filed briefs, appeared at oral
argument, and engaged in discussions with commission personnel, all without success.

5

opportunity” that is urged, there are a number of basic steps that have been identified as
deserving of serious consideration. First, correctional authorities should encourage service
providers to offer a broad range of calling options, consistent with sound correctional practices.
Toll-free calling, debit calling, and collect calling are options that offer different advantages at
varying costs. To the extent that existing technology does not permit full access to toll-free
numbers for security reasons, correctional authorities should work proactively with telephone
service providers to develop and refine technology that extends security features to toll-free calls.
Although correctional authorities must be mindful of security concerns when determining what
calling options to offer, some telecommunications experts and numerous correctional systems
have found that alternatives to collect call-only policies – such as the debit-calling option
presently in place in a significant number of facilities – can satisfy legitimate security concerns.17
Second, telephone services in the correctional setting should be offered at the lowest
possible rates. A wide range of calling options and fair competition in the marketplace will help
control excessive costs. Non-exclusive contracts, contracts with multiple vendors, the provision
of debit cards through multiple vendors, and unrestricted vendor access to correctional telephone
networks are all measures that promote fair competition which will lead to reasonably priced
telephone services for prisoners and their families. Greater oversight of the terms and conditions
– particularly the site commissions – of service contracts will enable service providers to lower
their cost of service and pass those savings on to consumers.
Third, telephone service contracts should expressly forbid call-blocking for any reason
other than legitimate law enforcement and national security concerns, requests initiated by the
customer, or failure to pay legitimately invoiced charges.
Finally, if correctional authorities conclude that limits must be placed on the number of calls a
prisoner makes, or on the aggregate amount of telephone time allotted a prisoner in a given
period, those limits should be as flexible and generous as possible in light of the many benefits of
maintaining ties between incarcerated people, their families, and their communities.
Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Anderson
Chair, Criminal Justice Section
August 2005

17

See In the Matter of Wright Petition for Rulemaking or, in the Alternative, Petition to Address Referral
Issues in Pending Rulemaking, FCC Docket 96-128, Affidavit of Douglas Dawson. The federal Bureau of Prisons
permits prisoners to place calls using debit cards, demonstrating that collect call-only policies are not necessary to
maintain prison security. See U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Memorandum For All
Institution Controllers All Trust Fund Supervisors, from Michael A. Atwood, Chief, Trust Fund Branch, Trust Fund
Message Number 18-02 (Feb. 8, 2002) at 2.
6

GENERAL INFORMATION FORM
1. Summary of Recommendation. encourages federal, state, territorial and local governments,
consistent with the constraints of sound correctional management, law enforcement and
national security principles, to afford prison and jail inmates every reasonable opportunity to
maintain telephonic communication with the free community, and to offer telephone services
in the correctional setting with an appropriate range of options at the lowest possible rates.
The proposed resolution encourages federal, state, territorial and local governments to
afford incarcerated people every reasonable opportunity to maintain telephonic
communication with the free community consistent with the constraints of sound
correctional management principles, and to offer the broadest possible range of telephone
services in the correctional setting at the lowest possible rates.

2.

Approved by Submitting Entity.
This recommendation was approved by the Criminal Justice Section Council at its May 1415, 2005 meeting.

3.

Similar Recommendations Submitted Previously.
This recommendation has not previously been submitted to the House of Delegates or the
Board of Governors.

4.

5.

Relevant Existing ABA Policies and Affect on These Policies. None.

Urgency Requiring Action at this Meeting. The proposed resolution has been the subject
of deliberation and discussion among a broad range of people with diverse interests. Drafts
of the proposed resolution have been widely circulated, and based upon comments
received, the proposed resolution has been repeatedly revised and refined. As it is
presently worded, the proposed resolution has been approved by the Corrections and
Sentencing Committee of the Criminal Justice Section and is ready for consideration by the
Board of Governors and the House of Delegates.

6.

Status of Congressional Legislation (If applicable). None.

7.

Cost to the Association. None.

8.

Disclosure of Interest (If Applicable).
No known conflict of interest exists.

7

9.

Referrals.
Concurrently with submission of this report to the ABA Policy Administration Office for
calendaring on the August 2005 House of Delegates agenda, it is being circulated to the
following:
Sections, Divisions and Forums:
All Sections and Divisions

10.

Contact Person (Prior to 2005 Annual Meeting).
Margaret Love, Esq.
Law Office of Margaret Love
1100 Park Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone : (202) 547-0453
E-Mail : margaretlove@pardonlaw.com

11.

Michael S. Hamden, Esq.
NC Prisoner Legal Services Inc.
1110 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: (919)856-2200
E-Mail: mhamden@ncpls.org

Contact Persons (Who will present the report to the House).
Neal R. Sonnett
Law Offices of Neal R. Sonnett
One Biscayne Tower
Two South Biscayne Blvd. Suite 2
Miami, Florida 33131
Phone: (305) 358-2000
FAX: (305) 358-1233
E-Mail: nsonnett@sonnett.com

Stephen Saltzburg
George Washington University
School of Law
th
720 20 Street, NW - Room B-303F
Washington, DC
20006
Phone: (202) 994-7089
FAX: (202) 994-7143
E-Mail: ssaltz@main.nlc.gwu.edu

8

APPENDIX E

I

110TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

H. R. 555

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe rules regulating inmate telephone service rates.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JANUARY 18, 2007
Mr. RUSH (for himself, Mr. BOUCHER, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. WYNN, Mr.
TOWNS, Mr. CLEAVER, and Mr. CUMMINGS) introduced the following bill;
which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

A BILL
To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the
Federal Communications Commission to prescribe rules
regulating inmate telephone service rates.
1

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

4

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Family Telephone Con-

5 nection Protection Act of 2007’’.
6

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

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VerDate Aug 31 2005

The Congress finds that:

8

(1) The telephone is the primary method by

9

which individuals correspond and maintain contact

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1

with family members who are incarcerated in correc-

2

tional institutions.

3

(2) Except for emergency purposes, family

4

members are not allowed to call people incarcerated

5

in correctional institutions; incarcerated persons are

6

typically allowed to call family members and other

7

pre-approved individuals only through payphones

8

physically located on the premises of correctional in-

9

stitutions.

10

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11

(3) Inmate telephone service in correctional institutions often is limited to collect calling.

12

(4) Regardless of whether the prisoners’ calls

13

are placed collect or through a debit account, the

14

prisoners’ family members typically pay for the calls,

15

either through their telephone bills, in the case of

16

collect calls received from prisoners, or by making

17

deposits directly into prisoners’ debit accounts.

18

(5) Innocent citizens are paying excessive tele-

19

phone charges simply due to having a family mem-

20

ber or loved one who is incarcerated.

21

(6) The rates for calls from correctional institu-

22

tions are some of the highest rates in the United

23

States, with some per-minute charges reaching $1

24

and service or connection charges of $3.95 per call.

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1

(7) Information compiled by the Congress and

2

the Federal Communications Commission shows that

3

the high rates are due in part to the lack of competi-

4

tion between telephone companies that provide long

5

distance inmate telephone service to correctional in-

6

stitutions.

7

(8) There are no competitive forces providing

8

incentives for those carriers to lower prices or oper-

9

ate efficiently because, unlike the mass market, only

10

one carrier is typically permitted to provide long dis-

11

tance inmate telephone service within each correc-

12

tional institution.

13

(9) High calling rates also are due in part to

14

commissions that carriers pay to correctional institu-

15

tion administrators for the exclusive right to provide

16

long distance inmate telephone service in a correc-

17

tional facility. In some cases, such commissions ac-

18

count for 50 percent or more of the total charges.

19

(10) The collection of such commissions by cor-

20

rectional institution administrators and state depart-

21

ments of correction based upon interstate tele-

22

communications revenues is a burden on interstate

23

commerce.

24

(11) Due to the lack of competition for tele-

25

phone services within correctional institutions, fami-

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1

lies of people in prison, many of whom have low in-

2

comes, cannot choose the long distance carrier with

3

the lowest calling rates and must pay the excessive

4

rates charged by the carrier having the exclusive

5

right to provide long distance service to the correc-

6

tional institution from which the call originates.

7

(12) It is the policy of the United States to en-

8

sure that all Americans are afforded just and rea-

9

sonable communications services, including those

10

families that pay rates for inmate telephone service.

11

(13) It is clear from various studies that main-

12

taining frequent and meaningful communications be-

13

tween people who are incarcerated and family mem-

14

bers is key to the successful social reintegration of

15

formerly incarcerated individuals. Such contact re-

16

duces recidivism and facilitates rehabilitation, which

17

in turn reduces crime and the future costs of impris-

18

onment.

19

(14) Frequent communications between incar-

20

cerated persons and family members is burdened,

21

and in some cases, prevented, by excessive inmate

22

telephone service rates. Excessive inmate telephone

23

service rates thus weaken the family and community

24

ties that are necessary for successful reentry into so-

25

ciety by persons who were formerly incarcerated and

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1

the reduction in crime resulting from successful re-

2

entry.

3

(15) The Commission has the expertise and au-

4

thority to regulate inmate telephone service. Because

5

parties to Commission rulemaking proceedings have

6

raised issues regarding its authority to implement

7

meaningful relief for excessive inmate telephone

8

service rates, Congress finds it necessary and appro-

9

priate to reaffirm that the Commission has the au-

10

thority to implement the types of relief set forth in

11

this Act.

12

SEC. 3. RESTRICTIONS ON THE PROVISION OF INMATE

13
14

TELEPHONE SERVICE.

(a) DEFINITIONS.—Section 226(a) of the Commu-

15 nications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 226(a)) is amended add-

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16 ing at the end the following new paragraphs:
17

‘‘(10) The term ‘collect’ or ‘collect call’ refers to

18

a telephone call from a person incarcerated in a cor-

19

rectional institution that is billed to the subscriber

20

receiving the call.

21

‘‘(11) The term ‘commission’ refers to a fee or

22

other payment by a provider of inmate telephone

23

service to an administrator of a correctional institu-

24

tion, department of correction, or similar entity,

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1

based upon, or partly upon, inmate telephone service

2

revenue.

3

‘‘(12) The term ‘debit account’ refers to the

4

payment of inmate telephone service through a pris-

5

oner’s prepaid card or other account, which can be

6

accessed only through an access code, personal iden-

7

tification number, or similar identifier.

8

‘‘(13) The term ‘inmate telephone service’ in-

9

cludes the provision of telephone service enabling

10

persons incarcerated in correctional institutions to

11

originate interstate calls at payphones or other tele-

12

phones that are designated for prisoners’ personal

13

use, regardless of whether the calls are collect, paid

14

through a debit account, or paid through any other

15

means.

16

‘‘(14) The term ‘provider of inmate telephone

17

service’ means any common carrier that provides in-

18

mate telephone service or any other person deter-

19

mined by the Commission to be providing inmate

20

telephone service.’’.

21

(b) REGULATIONS.—Section 226 is further amend-

22 ed—
23
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24

(1) by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection
(k); and

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(2) inserting after subsection (h) the following

2

new subsections:

3

‘‘(i) REGULATION

4

INMATE TELEPHONE SERV-

ICE.—

5

‘‘(1) RATES.—In order to ensure that charges

6

for inmate telephone service are just, reasonable,

7

and nondiscriminatory, the Commission shall con-

8

sider, either in a rulemaking proceeding that is

9

pending as of the date of enactment of the Family

10

Telephone Connection Protection Act of 2007 or in

11

a new rulemaking proceeding, the following types of

12

regulation of inmate telephone service, all of which

13

are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and author-

14

ity:

15

‘‘(A) prescribing a maximum uniform per-

16

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OF

minute compensation rate;

17

‘‘(B) prescribing a maximum uniform serv-

18

ice connection or other per-call compensation

19

rate;

20

‘‘(C) prescribing variable maximum com-

21

pensation rates depending on such factors as

22

carrier costs, the size of the correctional facility

23

served, and other relevant factors identified by

24

the Commission;

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‘‘(D) requiring providers of inmate tele-

2

phone service to offer both collect calling and

3

debit account services;

4

‘‘(E) prohibiting the payment of commis-

5

sions by providers of inmate telephone service

6

to administrators of correctional institutions,

7

departments of correction, and similar entities;

8

and

9

‘‘(F) requiring administrators of correc-

10

tional institutions, departments of correction,

11

and similar entities to allow more than one pro-

12

vider of inmate telephone service to provide

13

interstate inmate telephone service at a correc-

14

tional institution in order that prisoners have a

15

choice of such providers.

16

‘‘(2) SCOPE.—The regulations adopted by the

17

Commission shall be technologically neutral and

18

shall not jeopardize legitimate security and penolog-

19

ical interests. To the extent the Commission regula-

20

tions reduce or eliminate the revenue derived by ad-

21

ministrators of correctional institutions, departments

22

of correction, and similar entities from the receipt of

23

commissions, such effects of Commission regulations

24

shall not be considered as jeopardizing or otherwise

25

affecting legitimate security or penological interests.

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‘‘(3) DEADLINES

2

Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement

3

the provisions of this subsection within one year

4

after the date of enactment of the Family Telephone

5

Connection Protection Act of 2007. The Commission

6

shall review, on a triennial basis, the regulations

7

promulgated under this subsection, including wheth-

8

er any Commission-established compensation rates

9

should be modified.

10

‘‘(4) STATE

PREEMPTION.—To

the extent that

11

any State requirements are inconsistent with the

12

Commission’s regulations affecting or pertaining to

13

interstate inmate telephone service, including restric-

14

tions on the payment of commissions based upon

15

interstate inmate telephone service revenues or earn-

16

ings, the Commission’s regulations on such matters

17

shall preempt such State requirements.

18

‘‘(j) INMATE TELEPHONE SERVICE FULLY SUBJECT

19

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AND PERIODIC REVIEW.—The

TO

SECTIONS 251 AND 252.—

20

‘‘(1) Inmate telephone service is fully subject to

21

the requirements of sections 251 and 252 of this

22

Act.

23

‘‘(2) No provider of inmate telephone service

24

may block or otherwise refuse to carry a call placed

25

by an incarcerated person on the grounds that the

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provider has no contractual or other arrangement

2

with the local exchange carrier serving the intended

3

recipient of the call or other common carrier in-

4

volved in any portion of the transmission of the

5

call.’’.

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Æ

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APPENDIX F

APPENDIX G

 

 

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