Lawmakers have been concerned about the cost of prison phone calls for at least two decades.
If the bill becomes law, Connecticut could become the first state to make all prison phone calls free.
Gov. Ned Lamont has proposed ‘right-sizing’ Connecticut’s correctional system due to a decade-long decline in the prison population.
Advocates for a proposal that would allow inmates to make free telephone calls were heartened when the bill was endorsed Tuesday by the legislature’s Appropriation Committee and forwarded to the House of Representatives.
Members of the Judiciary Committee denounced the state’s method of profiting off prison phone calls. Connecticut hauled in $7.7 million from the calls last year.
The state collected $7.7 million last fiscal year from prison phone calls, a cost born by inmates’ families, and ranks 49th – in front of only Arkansas — for the high cost of calls.