New York City is now leading the way in one aspect of jail reform. New York City has become the first major city to allow people in jail to make calls for free. Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement on May 1 that the city had fully implemented the law passed by New York City Council last summer.

As reported by ABC 7, the new law allows those in jail to make free calls totaling 21 minutes every three hours to anywhere in the United States. In preparation, the city is installing more phone lines to handle the increased amount of phone calls. Furthermore, CNN reports that the city will now cover the cost of the more than 25,000 phone calls from jail. 

Prior to the new law, incarcerated people were charged $0.50 for the first minute of each phone call and $0.05 for each additional minute. As ABC 7 reported, the previous policy became an issue because the majority of people in the city's jails are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime.

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The biggest opponent to the new policy was the Correction Officers Benevolent Association. The association raised the concern that the new policy would make it easier for criminal activity to take place in jail. However, Officers Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen believes that they are ready to handle any issue that may arise. He said, "Our gang intelligence is at the front lines of this area and nobody does it better than them."

This movement does not end in New York. According to ABC 7, Connecticut is also considering implementing a similar policy. If the state were to implement such a law, Connecticut would become the first state to make calls from jail free statewide.

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