After a federal court overturned a national limit on the price of the calls, activists turn to state and local governments.
Five years ago, when her nephew was sentenced to a second stint in prison in Arizona, Blu Dux began a twice-a-week ritual of talking to him on the phone.
To make it work, Dux had to set up a landline to accept collect calls and pay an average of $5 per call — the expense totals nearly $100 a month.
“I’m trying to create a bond with him, and it gets broken any time we don’t have communication,” said Dux, who lives on Kauai. “I know it helps his sense of support — being anchored by having somebody on the outside who is concerned for his welfare.”
In Hawaii, the cost of a 15-minute call from prison can now be as much as $9.10, including the fees.