Inmates in Texas will now be able to phone home for longer amounts of time and for a third of the price. According to reports, the Texas prison system drastically slashed the prices of calls and increased the amount of time an inmate can speak to their loved ones.
Instead of paying 26 cents per minute, prisoners will now pay 6 cents per minute, so a 15-minute call would’ve cost $3.90, under the new law, effective Sept. 1, a 15-minute call costs 90 cents.
“I’m so happy for the families who struggle to afford these phone calls,” he said. “Now there’s going to be parents who can afford to call home and maybe help with their kids’ homework,” Doug Smith, a former prisoner turned advocate said of the change.
Inmates can now stay on the phone longer. Prior to the change, 20 minutes was the maximum length for a call, now it’s 30 minutes. Houston Democratic Sen. John Houston said the change should’ve happened ages ago. “I’ve raised hell for years about how they were gouging inmates and their families.”
CenturyLink, a major prison-phone provider in the correctional system, earned the seven-year contract.
“The new (offender telephone system) contract is going to benefit not only family of offenders who are hoping to stay connected, but enhance the agency’s focus on re-entry,” Collier said in a statement. “The system is used to maintain relationships with friends and family that are a vital part of a successful re-entry and reintegration of offenders into the community.”
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