EPIC Urges FCC to Prohibit Providers from Charging Detained Persons and Their Families for Call Surveillance

December 16, 2022

Yesterday EPIC sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, thanking the agency for its decision to extend call rate protections for “jails” and “prisons” to include juvenile detention facilities, ICE detention facilities, and secure mental health facilities. EPIC also applauded the FCC’s decision to reduce rate caps for ancillary services by more than 50% to $3, and urged the Commission to adopt Worth Rises’ proposal that: any surveillance functions beyond those required by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) should not be considered services provided to detained individuals or to the people with whom they speak on the phone. Finally, EPIC thanked the FCC for using its authority to regulate unjust and unreasonable call rates to prohibit providers from seizing unused funds allocated for calls without attempting to refund the account owner, to require adherence to state unclaimed property laws, and in no instance permitting providers to seize funds before 180 consecutive days of inactivity have elapsed.

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