Rutledge boasts of preserving high cost of inmate calls | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rutledge boasts of preserving high cost of inmate calls

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 7:24 AM

HIGH PHONE CHARGES: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge boasts of keeping high cost in place for prisoner phone calls.
  • HIGH PHONE CHARGES: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge boasts of keeping high cost in place for prisoner phone calls.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge distributed a news release boasting about the fact that she'd joined other states in fighting a Federal Communications Commission rule aimed at tamping down the exorbitant cost of jail and inmate phone calls — a revenue boon to government but a punishment to families of those behind bars.

She's proud that the fight — aided by a Trump administration's decision not to continue a policy established under the Obama administration — prevented a limit on "the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government could recover from Inmate Calling Systems (ICS)."

"Recover." Nice word. Profiteer is better.

Said Rutledge: “The FCC failed to consider numerous issues including costs that would have directly impacted the local budgets of cities and counties across Arkansas.” See, Republicans don't like taxes except in the form of punitive charges for inmate phone calls. Family values.

The FCC rule amounted to a 50 percent decrease in rates on in-state calls.  (Imagine the nerve of giving a break on calls in the state where a prisoner is serving time and where his family most likely lives.)

Other news coverage pitched the decision in a different way:

A federal court struck down regulations intended to cap the price of some calls to prison inmates, which can cost families thousands of dollars a year.
The U.S. Court of Appeals said the FCC lacked authority to set rates between inmates and people in the same state.

The Verge commented:

The decision could end the years-long battle over the caps, which came to a head in a bizarre 11th-hour change from the Trump Administration. After current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was appointed to lead the commission, the agency did not move to revoke the rules, but did stop defending them in court, leaving independent intervenors to continue the fight.
We've written about the gouging of inmate families often. The state makes about $1.5 million a year off inmate calls. It is cheaper to call California than Conway from the Cummins Unit.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Clintons

    I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • Trolling for questions for our weekly podcast

    Lindsey Millar and I will record the Arkansas Times' weekly podcast this afternoon and post it shortly after it's done. This week, we're soliciting questions from readers/listeners.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • UA chancellor hits Senate tax proposal for impact on graduate students

    Joseph Steinmetz, chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has issued a statement emphasizing the "devasting" effect of pending Senate tax legislation on graduate students.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation