This week, Rob Wildeboer of WBEZ (Chicagoland Public Radio) did a three part series on the costs of prison phone calls in Chicago/Cook County. Be sure to take a listen:
Cook County phone contract costs inmates and families
Preckwinkle calling for end to $15 phone charges in Cook County Jail
Dart: $15 phone calls worth reviewing
Meanwhile, CMJ’s Network Manager Betty Yu has been working overtime as a guest blogger for National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture during their blog salon series: Telecommunications Policy and the Media Arts. Below is a cross-posting for her latest blog. In this installment, Betty writes about the local-to-national fight for Prison Phone Justice that we’ve been waging, and the difference grassroots organizations are making in states across the country.
In this last month, the fight to end the high costs of phone rates in the prison system got a major boost when the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) held it’s spring meeting and decided to address the high cost of Prison Phone Calls—specifically the FCC’s role in increasing competition for different phone companies, so not one single phone carrier has the monopoly and free reign to inflate their charges that results in low-income families paying up to $6 a minute to call their loved once who are incarcerated.
The Center for Media Justice (CMJ), along with Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net members), Media Literacy Project and Native Public Media sit on the CAC along with others to make recommendations to the FCC to ensure that consumer voices are included in proceedings before the FCC. amalia deloney, Associate Director of CMJ sits on the CAC, she wrote in a recent blog, ”Our [CMJ] selection for this committee meant a real opportunity to amplify the voices of historically marginalized communities and ensure that our unique communications needs were highlighted. Knowing that we were joining the committee at the same time as other MAG-Net members meant we share a responsibility to take collective action on the issues that matter to the communities we serve.” Read More