LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is attempting to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Oklahoma initially filed the lawsuit, which challenges an FCC order that limits the amount of money states can recover from the Inmate Calling Systems (ICS). Rutledge would like to join the lawsuit, along with attorneys general from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri.
“Since this order from the FCC was finalized in October, I have spoken with numerous sheriffs, the Arkansas Department of Correction and other agencies about the loss of revenue this order would impose on local communities,” Rutledge said. “Increased financial strain is not something local jails or prisons can handle at this time. Based on the feedback I received, I am seeking to join a lawsuit, brought by my colleague from Oklahoma, which will invalidate this order.”
Inmate call prices generally range from 14 to 22 cents per minute, yet the FCC order caps inmate calls at 11 cents per minute made from state and federal prisons. The new cap is more than a 50 percent decrease from the previous limit.
Rutledge’s office believes that this new cap ignores significant ICS- and security-related costs the states have to bear. Her office claims that the cap ignores the states’ need to recoup these costs from ICS providers.