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Companies Like AT&T Get The Go-Ahead To Raise Rates On Inmate Calls

Companies Like AT&T Get The Go-Ahead To Raise Rates On Inmate Calls

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave the go-ahead to raise rates on inmate calls amid declining prison population. The latest development would benefit service providers such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

A press release from the FCC said, "The rate caps adopted are, on average, significantly lower than the 2013 interim rate cap of 21 cents a minute that currently applies to interstate long-distance calls. The new caps will govern both in-state and interstate calling, reducing the price for most inmates of an average 15-minute call by nearly 35 percent.

Related Link: Canaccord Thinks Private Prison Equities Could Break Out

The new rates for debit/prepaid calls are as follows, with 2015 rate caps in parentheses:

  • State or federal prisons: 13 cents/minute (11 cents/minute)
  • Jails with 1,000 or more inmates: 19 cents/minute (14 cents/minute)
  • Jails with 350-999 inmates: 21 cents/minute (16 cents/minute)
  • Jails of up to 349 inmates: 31 cents/minute (22 cents/minute)

The FCC further said the rates for collect calls are slightly higher in the first year, but will phase down to the listed caps after a two-year transition period.

The announcement comes amid steady drop in prison population. Total inmate population in the United States is now 193,461, significantly lower than the 214,149 inmates in 2014, according to the Bureau of Prisons data.

Approximately 71 percent of inmates reside in state or federal prisons, and about 85 percent of inmates reside in institutions with populations exceeding 1,000.

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Posted-In: FCC Federal Communications Commission inmate callsNews Politics Legal Events General Best of Benzinga


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