Call to Action: State and Federal Regulation Needed for High Cost of Prison Communication


In this article in the public policy publication Route Fifty, associate Rochelle Swartz calls for state and federal agencies to take corrective action against practices that force prison inmates to pay exorbitant costs to communicate with family, lawyers and others.

Rochelle, who served last year as an Orrick Racial Justice Fellow with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, argues that predatory pricing by the few companies providing prison communication across the nation is having a disparate impact on poor, minority inmates who cannot afford to even send emails in some instances.

Rochelle concludes that “it’s time for local, state and federal government actors – including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission and state and city level legislators – to step in, take a hard look at these companies and their practices, and mandate remedial action.”