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A06830 Summary:

BILL NO    A06830 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Boyland

COSPNSR    

MLTSPNSR   Cook

Add S624, Cor L

Provides that rates for phone calls from correctional facilities shall be
comparable to the surrounding community and provides that phone contracts for
correctional facilities shall be based on the lowest rates to inmates using the
phones.
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A06830 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A6830               REVISED 4/26/13

TITLE OF BILL:  An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
limiting rates for telephone calls from correctional facilities and
providing for state contracts for telephone service

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:  Provides that rates for phone
calls from correctional facilities shall be comparable to the surround-
ing community and provides for phone contracts.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:  Amends the Correction law by adding
section 622; 1. The charge for local, and long distance telephone calls
from correctional facilities shall be comparable to the rates for such
calls in the community where the facility is located. 2, Contracts for
telephone service for correctional facilities on the basis of the lowest
cost to inmates of such facilities who use said telephone.

JUSTIFICATION:  Currently for any inmate to contact a loved one, they
must call collect through a carrier. According to the New York Campaign
for Telephone Justice, there are charges to initiate the call and charg-
es per minute. An average inmate phone call of 19 minutes, costs are
more than a 630 percent mark up over a general public call of the same
duration. Why are the families of prisoners forced to use an expensive
collect-call, system that saddles them with a burden they can ill
afford? Answer-Phone companies are allowed to charge exorbitant rates
because 60 percent of the profit revenue is returned to the Department
of Correctional Services and the state general fund. Essentially people
are being assessed a penalty for having an association with a prisoner.
It is inequitable to penalize an already burdened family to balance the
Department of Corrections budget.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:  A.11181 - 2006 A.6053 - 2009

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:  None to State government,

EFFECTIVE DATE:  This act shall take effect immediately.
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