Connecticut Becomes First State To Make Any Prison Phone Calls Free

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HARTFORD, C.T. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill into law which will allow prisoners to make phone calls for free.

Connecticut is the first state to make this decision.

“We’re on the right side of history,” Democratic Rep. Josh Elliott said, who was one of the supporters of the legislation. “Corporations can no longer be allowed to exploit the love between incarcerated people and their families — not in our state, not on our watch.”

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Through the phone vendor Securus Technologies, Connecticut prisons charged up to $5 for a 15-minute call which was some of the highest phone rates in the country.

“Connecticut has gone from last to first in the nation in the affordability of prison calls, and it was about time," Bianca Tylek, Executive Director of Worth Rises said. "This historic legislation will change lives: It will keep food on the table for struggling families, children in contact with their parents, and our communities safer.”

Worth Rises is a non-profit advocacy organization that fights for justice within the commercial criminal legal system.

Prisoners said the steep calling fee caused a large financial and emotional burden as they tried to stay in touch with their families.

Gov. Lamont's law, starting this week, will allow all incarcerated men, women and juveniles a minimum of 90 minutes a day of free calls.

Other areas nationwide such as San Diego, San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles have taken steps to make prison and jail phone calls free.

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Written by Edyn Jensen

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