A brand new rule permitting the Federal Communications Commission to control the charges of jail telephone calls is one step nearer to changing into regulation. After it passed through Congress last week, the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature.

The jail telephone name business has been damaged for many years, with telecommunications corporations, like Global Tel Link and Pay Tel Communications, charging unfair charges for telephone and video calls from inmates. These charges differ by state, however they contain the telephone supplier providing kickbacks to prisons and native governments utilizing the cash they gather from the buddies and households of incarcerated individuals. The result’s a $1.4 billion industry constructed on charges that disproportionately have an effect on girls and other people of coloration.

But the Martha Wright-Reed Act, named for a jail coverage advocate who fought towards exorbitant telephone name charges, will give the FCC the authority to “ensure just and reasonable charges for telephone and advanced communications services in correctional and detention facilities.” The invoice amends the Communications Act of 1934 and provides further language to cowl each telephone and video calls. President Biden is expected to sign off on the legislation.

“The FCC has for years moved aggressively to address this terrible problem, but we have been limited in the extent to which we can address rates for calls made within a state’s borders,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says in an announcement. “Today, thanks to the leadership of Senators Duckworth, Portman and their bipartisan coalition, the FCC will be granted the authority to close this glaring, painful, and detrimental loophole in our phones rate rules for incarcerated people.”

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