WI - Prison Phone Justice

Brad Schimel, Attorney General of Wisconsin

On October 22, 2015 the Federal Communications Commission voted to cap the rates and fees companies charge those families struggling to keep in touch with incarcerated relatives by phone.

Now, attorneys general in several states are joining with phone companies to try to block this positive step towards criminal justice reform.

We won these regulations because of mounting pressure from groups across the country under the banner of the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice. We can win again with your support. Join us in telling attorneys general across the country that families can't wait for prison phone justice.

To: Brad Schimel, Attorney General of Wisconsin
From: [Your Name]

We are a part of a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness about the high costs of phone calls that are paid for by families who have a loved one incarcerated.

As you know, on October 22, 2015 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed sweeping regulations to the prison phone industry. The FCC was responding to a decade-long effort to stop these unfair practices that has involved thousands of people from public interest groups, faith organizations, and impacted families.

We respectfully ask that you reconsider your decision to join phone companies, and attorney generals in other states, blocking this positive step toward criminal justice reform.

In the United States, there are 2.7 million children with a parent incarcerated, that’s one in every 28 children. The high cost of phone calls is a major obstacle for a son or a daughter who needs to hear the sound of a parent’s voice. Families can easily spend a hundred dollars a month to talk on the phone. Although they have done no crimes, they are made to pay. Those individuals in our prisons and jails already come from some of the most vulnerable families in our society. These expensive phone calls only force them into further economic hardship.

Additionally, communication with their families is critical to helping people lay the groundwork for transitioning to the community upon their release, thereby contributing to lower rates of recidivism. This ultimately saves our state money from paying upwards of $20,000 a year to incarcerate an individual.

The FCC’s new rules will establish fair guidelines for an industry that has for too long taken advantage of a captive population.

We ask you to withdraw your support for a lawsuit against the FCC. We urge you to consider the thousands of children who may have a parent incarcerated, but need the comfort of a regular phone call. Families shouldn’t have to make a decision between putting food on the table, and paying phone bills. Thank you for your consideration.