Phone bills rolling in, but we still need yours!


Hi All,

AWRN still needs your phone bill to include in our developing report on the high cost of staying in touch with your incarcerated loved ones.

AWRN wants to hear from you! Let AWRN know:

  1. How much you spend on phone calls each month
  2. What is the cost per minute for calls
  3. Do you have to pay any connection fees (including credit card fees)
  4. Explain common problems with phone service such as dropped calls, bad connections, charges for lost calls, etc.

Submit copies of your phone bills to AWRN as soon as possible. By providing AWRN with a copy of your phone bill and statement of problems with phone services, we will be able to better advocate for all who are struggling to stay in touch with their incarcerated loved ones. 

Please black out all of your identifying information. AWRN is interested only in the amounts spent by prisoners and families each month and will keep all records anonymous.

Our address is:

AWRN

1211 28th Street S., Suite 100C

Birmingham, AL 35205

Thank you!

Recent news from CURE National on cell phones in prison:  

Senate Judiciary Committee
S. 1749, Cell Phone Contraband Act of 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2009

Statement of U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold

I support Senator Feinstein’s bill and think we should be doing everything possible to ensure that inmates are not able to engage in criminal activity behind prison walls. I hope that this bill will discourage prison guards and family members from smuggling cell phones to prisoners. But there is an issue raised by this bill that we ought to consider before the bill goes to the floor.

As I understand it, many state and local prisons charge exorbitant rates for inmate telephone service. While other telecommunications rates have been declining over the last few decades, inmate phone rates have been climbing. Some prisons only offer collect calling services, and they charge up to four dollar connection fee and as much as one dollar a minute. These excessive rates are unacceptable, especially because it is usually the family members of the inmate who bear the brunt of these high fees. In addition, some prisons apparently receive what sounds a lot like a kickback from the providers of telephone service — perhaps as much as 50% of the charges for the calls.

I realize that this can amount to a lot of money and prisons are reluctant to give up a source of funding on which they have come to rely, but I am concerned that the proliferation of cell phones in prisons may, in part, be due to this practice. I think this is something we need to look into, in order to both provide reasonable phone rates to prisoners’ families, and also to reduce the incentive for smuggling cell phones. I hope that Senator Feinstein will be willing to work with me on this as the bill goes through the legislative process.    

 

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