Bill filed would make prison phone calls free in Massachusetts

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Family members of those incarcerated want to change the phone policies in Massachusetts prisons.

The Keep Families Connected Coalition wants to see 2 bills pass this session, so that family members can stay in touch with their loved ones behind bars.

The group is lobbying for the passage of Senate Bill 13-72 which would eliminate phone call fees at Massachusetts prisons.

Right now it costs inmates 36 cents per minute to call from inside a county jail. A 15 minute call could cost inmates up to $6.15.

Members of the coalition shared personal stories about being incarcerated or trying to connect with a loved one who was.

“I was sending money out to my wife to put on my books so that I could make phone calls home and $1,200 for 9 months to talk every other day to your family for 10 minutes is a little extreme,” said former inmate Richard Norris.

On average, Massachusetts families are spending $24 million to talk on the phone to their loved ones in prison.

Data shows that speaking to inmates on a regular basis can help to prevent them from offending.

The Keep Families Connected Coalition is working on another bill to eliminate some of visitation restrictions at the state’s correctional facilities.

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