Op-Ed: Why phone calls from prison should be free

Angel Rice’s second job is unpaid, and the hours stink. They start at 6 a.m. when she checks her phone for messages that have come in overnight from women who are struggling to support a family member locked up in a California state prison.

Nothing they can ask would surprise Rice, whose own husband is incarcerated in Imperial County, 150 miles from her Rancho Cucamonga home. But with regularity, their questions boil down to the stress of paying to stay connected with a loved one inside. “I’m going into debt to keep my children in touch with their father,” they might say. “But I have to keep my family connected. What am I going to do?”

It’s a dilemma that led Rice and Abby Salim, whose husband is incarcerated in Marin County, to found Empowering Women Impacted by…

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

I have 26 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and have been working as a full time freelancer since 2011. I am originally from Casablanca, Morocco, and I graduated from Qatar University with a degree in journalism. I have worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, websites. I speak fluent Arabic, French, English, Russian and Spanish.

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