Policy Priority: Keeping Families Connected with Free Phone Calls

Last year we championed, HB23-1133, Cost of Phone Calls for Persons in Custody This bill was passed, making prison communication free across Colorado in state and private facilities. 

This year, one of our top priorities is to ensure this policy can be implemented as planned by 2025 by protecting the ramped up funding needed to bring free prison phone calls to families. The bill cut call costs by 25% in the first year, 35% in the second year, and will then make all calls free starting July 1, 2025. 

Every year, Colorado families –who are disproportionately Black, brown, and low-income – pay over $8.8 million to speak to their incarcerated loved ones. Over 50% of families with an incarcerated loved one struggle to meet basic housing and food needs. One out of three families with a loved one behind bars goes into debt just to stay in touch, and women carry 87% of the burden

Research has shown that keeping families connected while a loved one is incarcerated helps reduce recidivism. Now, it is critical that we protect the ramped-up funding needed to ensure this policy can be fully implemented. Sign up to get updates on this important policy so you will be ready to advocate for children and families when the legislative session kicks off in January!

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