SANTA FE – More than 200 inmates in New Mexico are suing the company that provides phone service to the state’s prisons.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the suit against Securus Technologies Inc. says a 2016 rate increase made the cost of calls go from about 3.25 cents per minute to 8 cents per minute.
The lawsuit says, before the contract was amended, inmates paid a flat rate of 65 cents for a 20-minute call. Under the current 8 cents-per-minute rate, a 20-minute call costs $1.60.
A spokesman for Securus Technologies says the actual rate charged for inmate calls varied under the old system because inmates didn’t always speak for 20 minutes but paid the whole fee regardless. He says the “average” rate collected for calls before the 2016 amendment to the contract worked out to about 6 cents per minute.