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California Department Of Corrections Reduces Cost Of Phone Calls For Inmates

san_quentin.jpg
John Weiss
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
San Quentin State Prison

The California Department Of Corrections, or CDCR, is reducing the cost of phone calls for inmates.

Officials signed a new six-year contract, on Monday, with G-T-L — an inmate telecommunications company. People who are incarcerated will no longer be charged a fee to set up an account. Every two weeks, each person will be allotted 15 minutes on the phone and 15 minutes of video calling.

 

The price of phone calls will drop to 2.5 cents per minute for calls made to anywhere in The United States. That’s much less than the old rates, which cost three times more for local calls and nearly nine times more for calls outside of the state.

 

The new rates mean that a 15 minute phone call to anywhere in the U-S will cost just under 40 cents.

 

Now that might not sound like a lot. But even for the best paid incarcerated employees, a 40 cent phone call costs more than an hour’s wages, according to a 2018 document from the CDCR.

 

GTL has come under fire in the past for FCC violations and faced lawsuits for racketeering and bribery.

 

CDCR officials say the rate reductions are an effort to make communication more accessible for those who are incarcerated. The new rates begin on March 19th.