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.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE