FCC Treads Lightly In Lowering Rates For Inmate Phone Calls

By Margaret Harding McGill (October 20, 2015, 9:56 PM EDT) -- The Federal Communications Commission will take up a proposal Thursday to slash the rates inmates are charged for phone calls from jail, but experts say the agency is skirting the larger issue of whether it has the authority to decide whether prisons can demand payment from service providers.

So far, the FCC plans only to discourage the payments to the facilities, known as site commissions, which have been singled out as the biggest factor in raising rates for inmates' phone calls. The proposal will cut average call rates in half, but inmate calling services providers say they still will be on...

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