HB 6714 passes Committee vote, moves Connecticut one step closer to prison phone justice

HARTFORD, CT — Today, prison phone justice advocates are celebrating the Joint Committee on Judiciary’s passage of Connecticut House Bill 6714, which would make not just phone calls, but all communication out of Connecticut correctional facilities free. The bill passed and now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

Bianca Tylek, Executive Director of Worth Rises, applauded today’s outcome: “For years, prison telecom corporation Securus has paid Connecticut millions in corporate kickbacks to gouge its incarcerated and their support networks, disproportionately impacting communities of color and poverty. H.B. 6714 has put a national spotlight on Connecticut. Currently ranking 49th in the country in the affordability of prison phone calls, Connecticut now has the opportunity, and imperative, to become a leader in prison phone justice. H.B. 6714 will prevent Securus and the state from draining millions of dollars from the people who can least afford it.”


NEW YORK, NY — The New York City Council voted to approve Intro No. 1199 today, a bill introduced by Councilmembers Keith Powers and Rory Lancman that eliminates bail fees imposed by New York City. The City currently charges a 2% fee for online bail payments and an 8% fee for bail payments made by credit card at a Department of Corrections facility, on top of any fees a person pays to a commercial bail bondsman. This change leaves in place a 3% credit card bail payment fee imposed on bail payments made in person at a courthouse by the Office of Court Administration, which is not under City control.  

In December 2018, the Zero Profits Coalition submitted testimony supporting Intro. 1199, noting that these harmful fees stem from opaque JPay contracts with the City that aim to profiteer off of people trying to pay bail.

The following statement can be attributed to Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, Color of Change, Fines and Fees Justice Center, Jails Action Coalition, JustLeadershipUSA, The Luke Law Firm, Mental Health Project at the Urban Justice Center, Shalom United Missions International, Visionary V, VOCAL-NY, and Worth Rises.