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Inmates calling foul over cost of long-distance phone calls

SHARE Inmates calling foul over cost of long-distance phone calls

INDIANAPOLIS — Inmates in seven states are suing over the high cost of making phone calls from prison.

They are challenging the deals under which a state or county government gets as much as 60 cents on the dollar from a telephone company that is given exclusive rights to handle all calls from behind bars.

AT&T Corp. spokesman Tom Hopkins said that the high inmate rates — in Indiana, $3.95 for the initial long-distance hookup, plus 69 cents a minute — are necessary to pay for the accompanying security measures.

Class-action lawsuits have been filed in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.