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Alabama PSC caps charges for prison phones

The Public Service Commission has imposed its first cap on the amount that inmates’ families can be charged for phone calls made from Alabama from jails and prisons.

The PSC voted unanimously Tuesday that the operator service charge on each call can’t exceed $2.25. Then there is a 50-cent charge for a local call. A long-distance call can cost 30 cents per minute.

Phone companies contract with city and county jails and the state prison system to provide phone service to the inmates. The PSC’s new rate caps will take effect when the phone companies’ current contracts expire. Most companies’ charges are already in line with the PSC’s caps.

Commissioner Susan Parker said the PSC is trying to keep calls affordable for inmates’ families.