Connecticut is considering legislation that would make it the first state in the country to make telephone calls free for prisoners.
It would be following the lead of New York City, which began allowing free phone calls earlier this month.
One obstacle in Connecticut is the potential loss of the revenue generated by the calls. Currently, inmates or their families pay $4.87 for phone calls of up to 15 minutes. That’s the second-highest rate in the nation.
In the 2018 fiscal year, Connecticut inmates made calls costing $13.2 million. The state took in $7.7 million for various programs from the phone calls, which are handled by a vendor contracted by the state, Securus.