Thanks to the efforts of Sheriff Daron Hall, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will lower its charges for inmate phone calls, changes which will take place within a few days.
In the midst when Metro is requesting for more money in order to be able to construct the downtown Criminal Justice Center in Tennessee, Hall is happy to announce that inmates at Davidson County will start paying 5 cents per minute instead of 13. Davidson County will have the lowest inmate phone call rates in the United States, something really unconventional.
According to Hall, it is crucial for inmates to be able to communicate with their families. According to psychological studies, recidivism is substantially reduced when inmates are able to communicate with their love ones on a consistent basis. Communication also reduces the amount of burden that inmates have to deal with, including family members. Alex Friedmann and Jeannie Alexander endorsed the Sheriff. Friedmann is a former inmate and an advocate for human rights. He also manages a prison newsletter. Alexander is a founder of an inmate advocacy organization.
Before inmates payed 13 cents per minute, which was outrageous. According to Carla West, there have also always existed fees that have been added to phone calls. So, instead of inmates paying $8.41 for ten minutes, prisoners will only pay 50 cents. Such rates are only applicable within the state of Tennessee. The Federal Communications Commission passed a law last year stating that jails that size of Nashville’s could charge no more than 14 cents per minute. Before, prisons and jails across the United States were charging at least $14 per minute.
Conventionally, private businesses have been profiting from jails and prisons in the United States. And one of the reasons why they charge so much is due to commissions, and usually the family members of inmates are the ones that have to pay for the high prices. According to Friedmann, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office is a great example to the country and represents a good step.