Tomorrow, October 13, will be a critically important day in the struggle to seek accountability and compensation for the years of hardship and sacrifices made by the families of prisoners in New York. The Court of Appeals of the State of New York, the highest court in the state, will hear oral arguments in the case of Walton v. New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYSDOCS), a final opportunity to argue that the kickback New York State received from the commissions from collect call charges were an unlegislated tax on families and unconstitutional.
This case is an important one because it could result in the return of millions of dollars to families who were overcharged over the long course of the MCI/Verizon monopoly contract with NYSDOCS. You can show your support for this groundbreaking case by attending the argument if you're in the Albany, New York area. If you can't make it to court, you can view the oral argument live on the web at http://www.nycourts.gov/
Despite the fact that we successfully defeated the contract in 2007, resulting in rate reductions of more than 50 percent, many, many family members continue to feel the impact of a decade of paying hundreds of dollars a month to maintain contact with their loved ones and find themselves unable to save money or make plans for financial security. The New York Campaign for Telephone Justice, a CCR project in partnership with many allies, has collected testimonials that paint a powerful portrait of these experiences. We have included these anecdotal results in an impact summary that you can find on our website.
It has been a long and hard struggle to reach this point. Your continued support of this case by showing up and remaining committed to justice for the families of prisoners is vital and appreciated.
Director of Education and Outreach