Louisville wants free phone calls for incarcerated people

Louisville is looking for a new vendor to provide phone and video call services from the city jail. Unlike its previous contract with Securus Technologies, the city wants the new vendor to make calls free for incarcerated people and their loved ones. 

People making calls from the Louisville jail currently pay Securus, a private company based in Texas. The company then passes a portion of that revenue on to Metro Government in commissions. But a request for proposals issued this week says the city will not only forgo commissions but will start paying for phone calls directly. 

Records obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting show Securus collected $1.6 million from the Louisville jail and paid nearly $945,000 in commissions last year. 

Related story — Phone Calls Still Won’t Be Free When Louisville Jail Gives Up Profit. “It’s so important for families to be able to have contact with their loved ones who are inside the Louisville Department of Corrections, and it’s a really great step forward that it can be free,” said Judi Jennings, who provides art supplies to children visiting family members at the jail as part of the Louisville Family Justice Advocates.