Aventiv Technologies released the following statement from its President and CEO Dave Abel in response to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s action yesterday to move the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2021 out of committee after a markup:

“Meaningful change to America’s criminal justice system requires an all-hands-on-deck effort. We are pleased to see the Commerce Committee take action to improve the affordability and accessibility of correctional communications and we look forward to working with legislators in a bipartisan fashion to address outstanding technical concerns and improve the legislation. 

“Today’s markup is an important step but far from the last. Even if a better version of Senate Bill 1541 becomes law, the next step is to think creatively and comprehensively to implement additional changes to the system, including allowing for subscription pricing calls that reduce costs, increase call time, and respond to the demands of incarcerated Americans and their families. We are excited to find congressional partners in these efforts and more.

“Our company, with the full engagement of our ownership, has made dramatic changes to our business and advocated for a reform agenda across the country. We have renegotiated hundreds of contracts, eliminated legacy fees, provided no-commission options to municipalities, helped preserve public safety, and expanded our offerings even as we have reduced the average cost of our calls to $0.11/minute – below FCC standards and down significantly from 2020. This is a model for systemic change, but no one can do this alone.”