Prison phones are a predatory monopoly. One family fought back — and won.
To prisoners and their relations, calls are a vital connection to home. For facility operators, they’ve long been considered security holes, a means for inmates to coordinate crimes with the outside. And for inmate phone companies, along with state and local governments, the system is a lucrative business opportunity.
For decades, critics called for greater regulation of the companies, arguing that inmates and their families had effectively been priced out of staying in touch. Today, some of those regulations have been put in place...but a recent legal challenge may once again roll them back.