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Inmate telephone service facts and issues

Inmates wanting to make calls from prison are allowed to call collect and the service is provided by a telephone company chosen by the prison administration. Most of the time these limitations result in much higher rates than those normally charged by a long distance provider.

Why the high rates for inmate phone calls?

One reason for this well known fact is that prisons receive a commission for calls made by inmates. When choosing the company to provide telephone service in a particular prison the commission's level plays an important role - generally the higher the better.

What's to be done?

Unfortunately, there is no way around this as of yet. There has been talk about making inmate calls less expensive, or about giving the receiver of the call the choice to use his/her telephone company for collect calls from inmates, but for now these are just hopes. They may eventually become reality considering that people or families having a relative in prison are generally not doing great financially, therefore they can not really afford to pay the high rates.

The only way to avoid the high charges is to refuse the call. You should know that, when receiving a collect call you must be given the possibility to hang up before the call goes through. The Inmate Phone Operator must also provide access to rates before you connect to the inmate calling you, allowing you to decide whether or not you can afford the call.

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