Advocates seek calls for incarcerated people at no cost to families

This is a file photo of the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford. (WLNE)

NEW BEDFORD, MASS (WLNE) – Members of Bristol County and advocate organizations are gathering at Ash Street Jail in New Bedford, looking for the passage of legislation that will allow incarcerated people to make calls at no cost.

In a release sent by Bristol County for Correctional Justice, it says those incarcerated are charged with high rates for phone calls, and most likely the family members have to pay the fees.

Bill S.2846 would ensure that families can make these calls at no cost, and would “ensure families are not driven further into debt”.

The group also cites the coronavirus pandemic in contributing to those in financial distress.

The rally is part of a campaign that has included a legislative day of action, a letter to legislators signed by 130 organizations.

Bristol County for Correctional Justice also had a hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. 

A floor vote is the next step for the bill.

The socially distanced rally will begin at Noon on Saturday.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: New Bedford, News, Regional News