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REINTRODUCES VIDEO VISITATION IN PRISONS ACT

8/2/2017, noon | Updated on 8/2/2017, noon
Duckworth is reintroducing the legislation after a federal court denied regulations that put a cap on the cost of inmate ...
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reintroduced the Video Visitation and Inmate Calling in Prisons Act of 2017 to prevent video visitation and inmate phone call companies from exploiting incarcerated individuals through exorbitant and unreasonably expensive fees and low-quality services. Photo Credit: The Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth

REINTRODUCES VIDEO VISITATION IN PRISONS ACT

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

“U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reintroduced the Video Visitation and Inmate Calling in Prisons Act of 2017 to strengthen the nation’s criminal justice system and help families keep in touch with

incarcerated family members, which studies have shown can help reduce recidivism rates and save taxpayer dollars,” according to a Duckworth press release.

Duckworth is reintroducing the legislation after a federal court denied regulations that put a cap on the cost of inmate phone calls. Now, large corporations have the option to exploit inmates and their families in telecommunication price hikes with no federal oversight.

Duckworth explained that she decided to reintroduce the bill because the current system is far too costly for parents in prison who want to stay in touch with their children and are not able to visit

them.

“I want to stop video visitation and inmate phone call companies from exploiting incarcerated individuals and their families through exorbitant and unreasonably expensive fees and low-quality services,” she said.

The Video Visitation and Inmate Calling in Prisons Act of 2017 would also ensure federal prisons do not replace in-person visitation when offering video visitation services to inmates.

Duckworth said she has recently discussed the legislation at a Senate nominations hearing and she says she is “encouraged by the support the legislation has received by some of the Federal Communications Commissioners – especially Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who has been a leader on this issue.”

She added, “Once someone has repaid their debt to society, we should do whatever we can to ensure they do not return to a

life of crime and instead have a chance to succeed and become productive members of society.”