Memphis, TN - Mayor Lee Harris worked with Shelby County’s vendor for inmate telephone services to eliminate all charges for calls by detained children to their parents or guardians.
Commissioner Tami Sawyer early on voiced her concerns regarding the charges to the Mayor and other stakeholders. She has visited the juvenile detention center and has been instrumental in shining a light on actions needed to better equip the children for returning to their homes and schools.
“Children in the juvenile system should have no barriers to speaking to their parents,” says Sawyer. “We tend to forget those in detention are still kids who may be scared or depressed or lonely and need to talk to their family. Being poor should not prevent that from happening. I am pleased we’re eliminating these exorbitant charges to the kids.”
“This is a great first step in improving the circumstances for juveniles in the justice system,” says Mayor Harris. “We know that staying connected to family members is an important piece to the puzzle when it comes to juveniles making the transition back to their homes and not returning to the detention center.”
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