WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jails in eight of New Hampshire’s 10 counties charge their inmates more money to make an in-state telephone call than FCC-regulated out-of-state call, the federal agency said Tuesday.
The costs range from $3.30 for a 15-minute call from the Strafford County jail in Dover to $6.47 for a 15-minute call from the Coos County jail.
The Coos County rate is more than twice the approved rate.
Federal CommunicaFtions Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a 45-page list of all correctional facilities whose in-state calls exceed the FCC approved rate of $3.15 for a prepaid, 15-minute interstate call.
The only New Hampshire jails not on the list are in Grafton and Hillsborough counties. No state prisons are on the list.
The FCC said it has done its part to lower the rates of interstate calls from inmates. But it does not have the legal authority to regulate the 80% of inmate calls that are made in-state. That is up to state or local officials.
“We know that keeping inmates and their loved ones connected reduces recidivism and helps children with incarcerated parents,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
“Given that most inmates are incarcerated in the same state where their families live, the rates charged for intrastate calls are critically important. I hope governors, state legislators, and other officials will take action.”
Some facilities charge as high as $20.