Chairman Thomas Wheeler
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Commissioner Ajit Pai
Commissioner Michael O'Rielly
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Re: Rates for Inmate
Calling Services, WC Docket No. 12-375
Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners:
We, as people of faith and members of the United Church of
Christ, thank you for your commitment and leadership to addressing predatory
prison phone rates. The Federal Communication Commission’s vote in August
brought much needed financial relief to the families of the incarcerated, and
ensures that nearly 3 million children with a parent behind bars have an easier
time staying connected. We thank you
for your work defending this critical decision in court, and your steps to
implement the new rules on February 11.
We hope that you will extend your historic decision of last
year to cap local and intrastate telephone rates. The cost of local telephone calls to jails,
prisons, and immigration detention centers are just as problematic as
long-distance rates. While some states
have commendably taken action to address these rates, and a few have begun
proceedings to review them, unfortunately many more states have yet to act.
We also urge you to help the deaf and hard of hearing
community, which faces unique challenges.
For an inmate who has communication disabilities, connection with the
outside world can be critical.
For all the above reasons, we ask you to address
unreasonable local phone rates to prisons, jails and detention centers and take
up the task of addressing the needs of incarcerated people with
disabilities. We continue to support
your work defending and implementing these important rules.