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Ex-Prisoners Ask For Cheaper Phone Calls In New Jersey Jails

Pay phones for inmates are seen on a wall at a jail in Fremont, Calif. (credit: Getty Images)

Pay phones for inmates are seen on a wall at a jail in Fremont, Calif. (credit: Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A group of former New Jersey inmates is hoping their call for more affordable phone calls is answered.

The ex-prisoners are petitioning asking the state’s Public Utilities Board to lower the costs, saying the high cost makes it harder for inmates to stay in touch with their families, especially their children.

A 15-minute in-state call from a jail costs $8.50, advocates say.

A new Federal Communications Commission rule holds down the cost of out-of-state calls, but it is up to states to regulate in-state costs.

County jails hold people sentenced to less than a year in prison, as well as people awaiting trial who cannot afford bail. Some also house immigrants who are detained.

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