"There is one number that simply haunts me—perhaps because I am a parent. Across the country, 2.7 million children have at least one parent in prison. That is 2.7 million children who do not know what it means to talk regularly with their mother or father."
Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Communications Commission
On Friday, August 9th, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a major leap forward on behalf of those 2.7 million children by voting 2-1 in favor of reforming the prison phone industry and ending the price-gouging of families who accept calls from their incarcerated loved ones. Cheers could be heard from the people present at the vote, including families of prisoners, advocates and allies. Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn – who has led the fight on the inside for prison phone justice- was visibly chocked up she paraphrased a Sam Cooke song, saying "it's been a long time coming, but change has come."
This victory was the direct result of a hard fought battle started more than a decade ago by the families of those incarcerated, who have been paying sky-high prices for years to stay connected. Two years ago the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice was launched to amplify the voices of those being victimized by a predatory prison phone industry. Jointly led by the Media Action Grassroots Network, Working Narratives, and Prison Legal News, the campaign is a diverse cross-sector collaboration of public interest groups, civil and human rights organizations, artists, community leaders, those incarcerated and their families.
Though there is more work to be done, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing work of the more than 90,000 groups and individuals who put out the call to the FCC to take a stand for strong families and safe communities, and to thank the FCC and legislative allies who answered that call.
Articles, blogs and statements from around the #phonejustice world
From Bethany Fraser’s statement to the FCC…
Statement of from FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn
Statement of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
UCIMC: FCC Votes to End Predatory Phone Rates for Inmates and their Families
Video: SPNN Forum – A conversation with Dr. Artika Tyner on Prison Phone Rates
TakePart: The FCC Finally Reins in Predatory Prison Phone Rates
Public Knowledge: After 10 Years, the FCC Upholds Just and Reasonable Action on Prison Phones
The Hill (Op-Ed by Malkia Cyril) FCC chairman puts end to 10 years of sky-high prison phone rates
Statement from Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, Rashad Robinson, on FCC Vote to Reduce Prison Phone Rates
Free Press: A Change Has Finally Come
Colorlines: The Secret Weapon in the Prison Phone Rate Fight? Families
Washington Post: FCC to vote on lowering prison phone call costs
Associated Press: Feds to slash cost of phone calls made from prison
Free Speech Radio News: After decade of protests, FCC approves rules to cap prison phone rates