Michigan revising rates for inmate calls after FCC decision

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Department of Corrections is revising rates for inmate phone calls after the Federal Communications Commission decided to reduce the cost of jail and prison phone calls.

Corrections Department spokesman Chris Gautz tells The Detroit News officials are working to determine how the change will impact revenue.

The department last year generated $11.5 million from inmate calls. The money flows into a “special equipment fund” used in recent years for security upgrades and counseling programs such as violence prevention and sex-offender treatment.

Gautz says officials hope to transfer funds from another part of the budget to continue counseling programs, but there could be fewer classes.

The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association opposed the FCC’s decision, saying it could cause sheriffs to reduce calling times for inmates or remove jail phones.