New CDCR Policy Change for the Incarcerated Aims to Reduce Recidivism

CDCR is working towards helping bring equity and strengthen family bonds to the incarcerated population under a new law that took effect at the start of the year.

The Keep Families Connect Act, signed by Newson in September, allows all audio calls from prison wall phones and tablets to come at no cost to inmates or their families.

In March of 2021, the department reduced costs for phone calls to 2.5 cents per minute for local calls and by 18.5 cents per minute for telephone calls outside of the state, making the average cost for a 15-minute call anywhere in the US 37.5 cents, said to have saved families and the incarcerated 17 million dollars annually. That cost will now fall into the state’s correction department’s 14 billion dollar budget.

In removing these fees CDCR secretary says the policy change eliminates the financial barriers and burdens to the population and their support system, with the hope to positively impact inmates’ rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.

Under the program, there will be no limit on the number of calls that can be made domestically or internationally.

The new law covers the 93,000 incarcerated in the state’s prison system.