BOSTON (AP) _ The families of Massachusetts inmates are protesting the high costs of phone calls from county jails and state prisons.

Families say high surcharges and per-minute rates make it impossible for some families to keep in touch while loved ones are incarcerated.

The state Department of Telecommunications and Cable will hold a public hearing Thursday.

Prisoners’ Legal Services and a private law firm filed a petition to the department on behalf of inmates, their families, attorneys and other users of prison telephone service. They ask the department to limit telephone rates and investigate what they call poor telephone service. .

Christine Duarte of Fall River said it costs her between $450 and $650 per month to talk to her husband, who’s awaiting trial on breaking and entering charges at a county jail in New Bedford.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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