Michigan CURE campaigns for fair phone rates

The Michigan chapter of CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) has launched a national campaign for equitable telephone charges for prisoners. The eTc Campaign is designed to address the injustices of the nation's prison systems' telephone practices.

In most prison systems throughout the country prisoners are allowed to make only collect telephone calls. In addition to the high cost of a collect call, there is often a surcharge placed on each call. Most calls are limited in time. If you can't get your business done within the time allowed, too bad. Call again, and pay another surcharge. Additionally, the contracts signed between prison bureaucracies and telephone companies require that those companies pay a commission to the prison.

The campaign is intended to educate policy makers, telephone company leaders and the general public about the importance of family contacts for prisoners and their loved ones.

The telephone is a most significant way of ensuring that regular contact is maintained, and the moral implications of making profit from vulnerable relationships should be troubling.

Therefore, MI-CURE is supporting telephone privileges for all prisoners, the elimination of all surcharges and the offer of debit card calling to prisoners in all prisons in our country.

The Campaign has planned of a series of events over a period of seven months.

The Campaign began in January 2000 with a Y2K Certificate to legislators throughout the nation. The Certificate is a statement of resolve to educate policy makers about telephone injustice. In April the Campaign asked governors and prison systems to end the indirect tax that is a product of high commissions being paid by phone companies to prison systems.

In August the eTc Campaign is urging people to refuse prisoner telephone calls for the month, with the exception of calls for emergencies or other important reasons.

You can receive your own eTc Campaign Instructions for the months of May, June, July and August by contacting Kay Perry, eTc Campaign Coordinator, PO Box 2736, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-2736. Telephone: (616) 383-0028; FAX:(616) 373-2545; or email: kayperry@aol.com