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Connecticut becomes first state to make free calls for inmates and their families
The bill, sponsored by State Representative Josh Elliott and Senator Martin M. Looney, will make all voice communications, including video and email services, free of charge for those in prison and those who receive the communication. . According to the bill, services will also be free for detainees in juvenile detention centers.

Inmates will receive 90 minutes of toll-free phone calls and the cost will be paid by taxpayers.

Governor Ned Lamont promulgated the bill on June 16, and it will come into force on October 22, 2022 for adult institutions and October 1, 2022 for juvenile institutions.

“Today, Connecticut made history by becoming the first state to make jail calls and all other communications, free of charge,” said Bianca Tylek, executive director of Worth Rises, a nonprofit organization which works for the reform of the prisons, the day of the signature.

“This historic legislation will change lives: it will keep food on the table for families in difficulty, children in contact with their parents and our communities safer. “

Securus Technologies, which currently operates and maintains secure calling systems used in Connecticut state correctional facilities, supported the measure in a statement.

“This important legislation not only provides relief to consumers, but also serves as a pointer for other state and local jurisdictions looking for ways to make these products and services more affordable and accessible,” the statement said.

Securus is launching the measure by immediately reducing call rates to customers by 20% on average, as of July 1.

In 2019, New York City became the first major city to offer inmates free calls.

Detainees were previously charged 50 cents for the first minute of a phone call and five cents for any additional minutes. Now, the Department of Corrections is covering the cost of more than 25,000 calls made from the city’s jails, the city said.

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