ACLU-NJ urges end to exorbitant phone rates from NJ corrections facilities

April 30, 2014

The ACLU-NJ sent a letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) urging it to end excessively high telephone rates for in-state calls from New Jersey prisons and jails. Because the federal government barred exploitatively high rates between states, the cost of a telephone call from a New Jersey prison or jail within the state is higher than the cost of a call made to another state.

The letter expresses support for a petition filed with the BPU to regulate the rates from community organizations and family members of incarcerated people in New Jersey.

The rates, which constitute a tax on poor families in New Jersey, injure public safety by putting up barriers to contact with loved ones, which has consistently been identified as one of the most important factors in reducing rates of recidivism.

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