Prison phone justice legislation passes Congress!
The Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022, S. 1541 passed the Senate unanimously yesterday and was passed this morning on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by voice vote. The United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry celebrated this achievement after years of effort.
“The predatory behavior of companies serving incarcerated people and their families is notorious. Families, pastors, attorneys and others are forced to pay unconscionable rates in order to keep in touch with loved ones, offer counseling and connection or vindicate legal rights,” said Cheryl A. Leanza, policy advisor of the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry. “But today, the forces of good pushed back! We are celebrating passage of the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 and the steadfast commitment of our Congressional champions who pressed ahead against terrible odds. The gift of connection and recognition to people who are often forgotten and left behind is immeasurable and particularly meaningful during the holiday season. The United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry expresses our deep gratitude to Senator Duckworth, Representative Rush. Senate and House leadership and the often unsung staff who would not give up on the people counting on them. And we credit the National Sheriffs Association for coming to the table and standing by the legislative compromise it made. We look forward to working with the Federal Communications Commission to implement this new law.”