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ICS Advocates - Ex Parte Submission to FCC re #Solutions2020, 2017

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Lee G. Petro
202-230-5857 Direct
202-842-8465 Fax
Lee.Petro@dbr.com
Law Offices
1500 K Street N. W.
Suite 1100
Washington, D.C.
20005-1209
(202) 842-8800
(202) 842-8465 fax
www.drinkerbiddle.com
CALIFORNIA
DELAWARE
ILLINOIS
NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK
PENNSYLVANIA
WASHINGTON D.C.
WISCONSIN

January 13, 2017

By ECFS
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
RE:

Dear Ms. Dortch:

Ex Parte Submission - WC Docket 12-375 & GN Docket 13-111

Pursuant to Section 1.1206(b) of the Commission’s rules, the Wright Petitioners,
Prison Policy Initiative, New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees and United
Church of Christ, OC Inc. (collectively, the "ICS Advocates"), hereby submit this Ex Parte
Notice regarding the aforementioned parties' submission of Comments on the Draft
#Solutions2020 Action Plan on January 11, 2017. 1 Pursuant to the Notice, a copy of the
ICS Advocates' Comments is being submitted in the dockets of the above-referenced
open proceedings.
As provided in the Comments, the ICS Advocates expressed their deep
appreciation for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's dedication to protect American
consumers, and in particular, inmates and their families. While the Notice sought
comment on the draft Action Plan covering a number of different issues, the ICS
Advocates focused solely on those issues that impact inmates and their families.

In particular, the ICS Advocates presented a "snapshot" of intrastate ICS rates
charged by six ICS providers, which was gathered by undersigned counsel for the Wright
Petitioners, and the staff of the Prison Policy Initiative, over a period of three weeks in
late 2016. Due to the efforts of ICS providers and correctional facilities, the rate caps on
intrastate ICS that were adopted in 2015, and adjusted in 2016, have been stayed in
federal court, and the "snapshot" was intended to highlight the current ICS landscape. 2

The most significant discovery made from reviewing the current pricing policies
of the ICS providers was that several ICS providers have imposed a rate structure for
intrastate ICS calls that bear a remarkable similarity to the now-prohibited "connection
fee" which was prohibited in the 2015 Second Report and Order, and memorialized in
Section 64.6080 of the Commission's rules. 3

Established 1849

1

See #Solutions2020 Call to Action Plan, Public Notice # 342689 (rel. Dec. 19, 2016) (the "Notice").

3

See 47 C.F.R. §64.6080 (2016). This rule was not stayed by the DC Circuit.

See Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services, Second Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd 12,763
(2015), aff'd mem., Order on Reconsideration, 31 FCC Rcd 9,300 (2016). See also Securus Technologies Inc.
v. FCC, No. 16-1321 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 2, 2016).

2

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
January 13, 2017
Page 2

For example, Securus Technologies charges the following rates for intrastate ICS
calls from county facilities, whereas a 15-minute ICS call from that facility to any other
state in the United States would cost $3.15:
State
MI
WI
TX
KS
AR

1st Min.
Add. Min 15 Min.
15 Min.
Charge ($) Charge ($) Rate ($) Interstate Call ($)
Sanilac County Jail
3.15
8.20
0.01
8.34
Iron County Sheriff
5.80
0.95
19.10
3.15
Oldham County Jail
5.76
0.41
11.50
3.15
Ford County Jail
5.50
0.83
17.12
3.15
Arkansas County Jail
5.35
1.40
24.95
3.15
Facility

Global Tel*Link has followed the similar practice of charging substantially higher 1st
minute rates than for any subsequent minute for county jails:
State
OR
AR
VA
WI
MI

1st Min.
Add. Min 15 Min.
15 Min.
Charge ($) Charge ($) Rate ($) Interstate Call ($)
Douglas County
3.15
5.31
0.89
17.77
Jefferson County
3.15
4.64
0.69
14.30
Culpeper County
3.15
4.64
0.69
14.30
Clark County Jail
3.15
4.64
0.69
14.30
Monroe County
3.15
4.60
0.65
13.70
Facility

Finally, Legacy Inmate Communications, a company that has admitted that it failed to
participate in the 2014 Mandatory Data Collection, violates both the letter and spirit of
Section 64.6080 by charging a per-call connection fee, and also by following the same
rate structure as Securus and GTL, for county and local facilities:

State
TX
MA
NJ
CA
NY

1st Min.
Add. Min 15 Min.
Charge ($) Charge ($) Rate ($)
Sommerville County Jail
13.56
1.15
30.81
Everett Police Department
11.99
1.29
31.34
Lindenwold Police Department
11.99
1.29
31.34
Yolo County Sheriff
9.50
1.49
31.85
Lancaster Police Department
9.66
0.89
23.01
Facility

15 Min.
Interstate Call ($)
3.15
3.15
3.15
3.15
3.15

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
January 13, 2017
Page 3

The ICS Advocates also supplied information relating to serious questions
regarding the efficacy of Managed Access Systems, and the impact that these costly
systems could have on inmates and their families if ICS rates and fees are increased to
permit ICS providers to recover their investments. The ICS Advocates noted that there is
overwhelming evidence that a substantial share of contraband cellphones are used by
inmates seeking to avoid paying unjust, unreasonable and unfair ICS rates and fees.
As such, while the ICS Advocates acknowledged that there is the potential for
serious harm arising from contraband cellphones, the Commission should ensure that
ICS consumers are not left footing the bill for these costly systems (which can cost more
than $1 million/facility) without first requiring that correctional authorities take
reasonable, substantially-less costly steps to stop the flow of contraband cellphones into
correctional facilities.

Should you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact
undersigned counsel.
Respectfully submitted,

Lee G. Petro
Counsel for the Wright Petitioners
cc (by/email):

Chairman Thomas Wheeler
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Commissioner Ajit Pai
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly
Howard J. Symons, General Counsel
Travis LeBlanc, Chief, Enforcement Bureau
Matthew S. DelNero, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
Ruth Milkman, Chief of Staff for Chairman Thomas Wheeler
Lisa Hone, Legal Advisor to Chairman Thomas Wheeler
Claude Aiken, Legal Advisor to Commissioner Clyburn
Nicholas Degani, Legal Advisor to Commissioner Pai
Brendan Carr, Legal Advisor to Commissioner Pai
Amy Bender, Legal Advisor to Commissioner O'Rielly
Erin McGrath, Legal Advisor to Commissioner O'Reilly
Madeleine Findley, Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
Pamela Arluk, Chief, Pricing Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau
Gil Strobel, Deputy Division Chief, Pricing Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau

 

 

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