New rules on inmate phone calls take budget bite

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Updated: 12/17/2013 11:16 pm

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — New rules by federal regulators will make it less expensive for inmates to call family and friends but also leave a $650,000 shortfall in next year's budget for various inmate programs.

The Nevada Board of Prison Commissioners was told Tuesday that an order by Federal Communications Commission approved this fall means prisons cannot charge so-called connection fees for inmates to make phone calls.

Nevada has charged $1.00 for local and interstate per call, but other states have charged as much as $17.

But the FEC rule prohibits those charges for use of the phone. The per-minute charge in Nevada is 12 cents.

Prison officials say money raised from the use fee has helped fund inmate programs and services.

They say they'll have to look elsewhere to replace the lost funding.


©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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