Governor Lamont has signed Senate Bill 972, officially making Connecticut the first state to make prison phone calls free for incarcerated people and their loved ones.
The state has joined a growing list of jurisdictions across the nation in making prison and jail phone calls free, including New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
For years, Connecticut families have paid unconscionable rates to stay connected with incarcerated loved ones. In fact, in 2020, the state of Connecticut earned the dubious distinction of ranking last in the country in the affordability of prison calls.
However, now, thanks to an organization called Worth Rises that has been working with local advocates for years to pass the bill, families in Connecticut will now save more than $12 million annually to communicate with their loved ones behind bars.
The proposed legislation was initially introduced by Rep. Josh Elliott in 2019. It was introduced again in 2020 as the prison phone justice bill, and finally in 2021, it passed out of the Judiciary Committee.