Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 16:04 UK

Prison phone charges are reviewed

Scene from Eastenders based in prison
The super-complaint prompted a 90-day investigation from Ofcom

Phone charges for inmates in England have been cut, BT has announced.

BT confirmed that from Wednesday, the cost of prison payphone calls to landlines had been reduced from 11p per minute to 10p per minute.

It follows complaints to telecoms watchdog Ofcom from the consumer rights organisation, Consumer Focus and the Prison Reform Trust.

Ofcom ruled charges were too high last year and suggested changes should be made to the current contract.

The two organisations said evidence suggested that maintaining contact between prisoners and their families was important to their rehabilitation.

BT confirmed the cost of calls to mobiles during mornings and afternoons on weekdays fell from 63p per minute to 37.5p per minute.

It is estimated that charges will fall by an average of 12%.

However, prison charges remain far higher than calls made outside jails, where a call from a payphone to another landline costs about 2p per minute.

The payphone provider in Scotland, Siemens, has yet to decide to what action to take.

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