Phone Call Drastic Price Hikes

The Guardian recently published an article exposing how in mid-June of this year, NSW Corrections drastically raised the cost of inmate phone calls from $0.30-0.40 to $2.60 for a 10 minute phone call. Citing “security concerns,” which they refuse to elaborate on. NSW Corrections suspended its service with Engine Numbers, the third-party phone call provider that connects thousands of prisoners to cheap phone calls in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland with no warning. Prisoners in NSW make around $15-$80 a week, meaning that this increase will have a detrimental effect on their ability to contact their family and loved ones while incarcerated.

This action only further hurts inmates in NSW, who already lack access to education and rehabilitation services while incarcerated. At the same time, studies have shown that regular phone calls with family members and loved ones can drastically decrease the rates at which prisoners reoffend once released. This rate hike will only further increase the rising reoffending rates in NSW.

Regardless, phone calls should be free while in prison regardless of the situation. Many states in the United States have already begun to make phone calls in prison free, as they incur very low cost on the prisons, while having the change for greatly reducing long term costs by reducing the chance of reoffending for prisoners.

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