Four Democratic Senators and one Independent Senator are pushing to include funding for free phone and video calls for the incarcerated population in the U.S. in the next Coronavirus relief bill, The Hill reports.
“Regular communication with loved ones has consistently proven to help incarcerated people succeed in reentering the workforce after their release, and allowing them to stay connected will benefit them and their communities in the short and long term,” the Senators wrote in a letter to leadership, according to the news site.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, Cory Booker, D-NJ, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, Angus King, I-ME all signed onto the letter asking that incarcerated people are able to communicate with their families at a time when there’s no visitation allowed.
The group added, “As it remains unclear when effective treatment or a vaccine will be available, ensuring that incarcerated people can stay connected with their loved ones while in-person visits are suspended is critical—but we must also support solutions to help keep families connected after the pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote.
The Senate has yet to pass a relief bill since the last one was passed in May.