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Old 06-27-2019, 12:00 PM
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choclgs choclgs is offline
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Default Spotlight: Reactions to free jail calls demonstrate ‘status quo bias’


"Beginning next week, people locked up in San Francisco will be able to call their loved ones for free. Last year, people in the city’s jails spent $1.7 million on phone calls and commissary, of which half a million went to GTL, a major corrections telecommunication company. For Mayor London Breed, who introduced the provision in the San Francisco budget, jail calls are personal: Her brother is incarcerated. “It’s something that has never sat well with me, from personal experience of the collect calls, and the amount of money that my grandma had to spend on our phone bill, and at times our phone getting cut off because we couldn’t pay the bill,” she said. “When people are in jail they should be able to remain connected to their family without being concerned about how much it will cost them or their loved ones.”

Last month, New York became the first city to offer free phone calls from jail. Until then, another corrections telecommunications behemoth, Securus Technologies, was not only charging exorbitant fees per minute, but also found creative ways to extract more money from low-income people desperate to talk to one another."

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