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Articles by David Ganim

FCC Rate Caps on Prison Phone Calls to Impact Nevada DOC’s Budget

The rate caps recently imposed on interstate (long distance) prison phone calls by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) signal much-needed financial relief for prisoners and their families; however, they will also leave an estimated $650,000 gap in the 2014 budget for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Due to the FCC’s ...

Prison Phone Companies Fight for Lucrative Florida DOC Contract

In April 2013, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) issued an invitation for companies to bid on the department’s coveted prison phone contract.

The FDOC evaluated responses to the bid invitation and conducted negotiations with three companies: Global Tel*Link (GTL), Securus Technologies, Inc., which currently holds the department’s phone contract, and CenturyLink – the nation’s three largest prison phone service providers. The FDOC then issued a request for best and final offers (BAFO), and each company responded by June 18, 2013. After reviewing the final bids, the FDOC selected CenturyLink as the company that demonstrated the best value and service.

CenturyLink was able to woo the FDOC by offering an unusual proposition – increasing the department’s “commission” kickback to 62.6% of gross prison phone revenue from the current rate of 35%, while lowering the cost of a 15-minute call by approximately 25%. The 62.6% commission would be in effect for the initial contract term of five years, then change to 63.6% for the first two one-year renewals and increase to 64.1% for the third, fourth and fifth-year renewals.

CenturyLink indicated that its proposed rates did not include a per-call surcharge, which would allow prisoners to make more frequent calls at ...

After Ten Years, FCC Votes for Prison Phone Reforms!

On August 9, 2013, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn presided over a historic vote by the Commission to reform the prison phone industry, and while doing so publicly acknowledged family members and prisoners’ rights organizations that had influenced the FCC to finally make the “Wright” decision.

Thirteen years ...

HRDC Invited to Speak at Unprecedented FCC Workshop on Prison Phone Rates

It has been over 10 years since Martha Wright, a grandmother who filed a lawsuit challenging the high cost of prison phone calls, began trying to reform the prison telecom industry. Now, with more support than ever, advocates are asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make the "Wright" decision. ...