ConsCallHome Being in prison sounds pretty terrible all around.

Among all the elements of incarceration that seem awful, prisoners even face crazy-high call rates to simply stay in touch with their loved ones. Those charges were capped at $0.21 per minute as recently as last month—down from $1 per minute (and sometimes higher). But on Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made it a little easier for those in the clink to call home by ruling that a VoIP-powered service called ConsCallHome can continue to exist. Typically, inmates have to call a long-distance number (an anachronism in the age of cellphones) to reach their friends and family. But for the last five years, ConsCallHome (CCH) has given families a local (read: cheaper) phone number to pass along to their incarcerated family member.

The prisoner calls the new local VoIP number (rather than their family’s actual number), and CCH then forwards the call to the family’s real number.     

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