QUEENS, NEW YORK Assemblyman David I. Weprin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Correction, issued the following statement regarding Mayors announcement on free domestic calling for incarcerated individuals in New York City:
"Id like to praise Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson for introducing and signing legislation to provide no-cost telephone services for incarcerated individuals. The cost of inmate phone calls, which cost 50¢ for the first minute, often fall to the family or friends of the incarcerated, many of whom already live in low income communities and are predominantly poor.
By ensuring that these families do not bear the burden of these costs, we take a critical step towards providing inmates access to the essential communication they need as they await trial or repay their debt to society. I, along with my colleagues from the New York State Assembly Correction Committee, will be exploring the introduction of similar legislation on the state level; and I look forward to working to ensure that the families of the incarcerated are not unfairly and unjustly penalized or charged for having a family member in prison.