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FCC To Limit Cost For Arizona Prisoners' Telephone Calls

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The Federal Communication Commission is lowering the rates for in-state telephone calls for prisoners, leaving the Arizona Department of Corrections with a potentially large financial hit.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the FCC's decision earlier this month to cap call rates will likely take money away from prison education programs.

Prison calls, which normally cost 24 cents per minute, will now cost 11 cents per minute. Calls typically generate about $4 million a year for the department.

Under state law that money goes toward schooling, law library supplies for prisoners and a building renewal fund.

Department spokesman Andrew Wilder says the ruling does not take effect for 90 days.

The FCC argues that exorbitant rates make it nearly impossible for prisoners to stay in touch with loved ones.

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