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City Council Approves Free Phone Calls For NYC Jail Inmates

July 19, 2018 - 12:49 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The City Council has approved a bill to give free domestic phone calls to those incarcerated in New York City.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the measure was sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson.

"It's going to prohibit the city from collecting revenue from people incarcerated in our city jails from making phone calls and require the city to provide all domestic calls at no cost," Johnson said.

Johnson explained his thinking.

"Unfortunately, the city has been profiting from some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers for years and that is going to stop,” he said. “People who are locked up in our city's jails, because they've been convicted of a minor crime, far more often because they and their families can't afford to pay their bail have been paying both the city and private companies to make phone calls."

Johnson said inmates have been forking over $8 million per year to make the calls.