Court Halts Cap on Prison Phone Calls While States' Lawsuit Continues

March 9, 2016 AT 1:00 PM

A federal appeals court on Monday partially granted a motion to stay an order of the Federal Communications Commission lowering a cap on the rates that can be charged for inmate phone calls by 65 percent.

The FCC set the cap in October, limiting the charges for state and local inmate calls from all state and federal prisons to 11 cents per minute. For jails, the FCC capped rates at 14 cents to 22 cents per minute, depending on the size of the institution. The new rules were to have taken effect later this month.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined attorneys general from six other states in a motion seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the new cap. There has been no ruling on that motion, but on Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stayed the cap from taking effect while the lawsuit proceeds.

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