New Jersey has a state-level contract with Global Tel-Link to provide telephone services in its prisons and (if they choose) county facilities.  Several counties have opted into this contract.  Rather than providing the lowest possible rates for families with loved ones in these facilities, the contract raises the rates exponentially in order to provide “commissions” to the state and county governments.  This hurts families and the community as a whole by making it harder for the people to maintain family ties and reintegrate into the community once they are released.

For more information about the Federal Communication Commission’s Order to lower interstate phone rates and our response to their call for public comments on intrastate phone rates, click on the links below.

Final FCC Comment Docket 12-375 by NJAID and NYU IRC January 10, 2015

NJAID IRC Summary of FCC Order on Interstate Prison Phone Rates

NJAID IRC December 13, 2013 Comment FCC Docket No. 12-375

NJAID IRC March 25, 2013 Comment FCC Docket No. 12-375

For more information about statewide efforts to lower phone rates, including our petition to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, please click on the links below.

NJ Phone Justice Coalition Petition to the NJ Board of Public Utilities

NJ 2013 Senate Budget Hearing: Testimony of Karina Wilkinson

Letter to the Editor of the Star-Ledger from Karina Wilkinson

For more information about local telephone justice campaigns, please download the following fact sheets and documents:

Essex County Phone Justice Facts

NJAID Letter to Essex County re Telephone Contract 11 12 2012

Essex County Response to NJAID Letter

For more information about other federal efforts on this issue, please read our letter to the Department of Homeland Security, which sets standards for its detention facilities:

NJAID & IRC Formal Request to the Department of Homeland Security on Phone Rates

For more information about the importance of communication for immigrants held in NJ detention facilities, please visit:

Immigration Incarceration: The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in Essex County, NJ

Locked Up But Not Forgotten: Opening Access to Family & Community in the Immigration Detention System