Inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons have access to a controlled telephone system that allows them to call permitted contacts. Inmate housing units are equipped with telephones. Each month, inmates are authorized to make up to 300 phone calls. The number of calls an inmate can make in one month depends on their status: regular inmates can make between 1 and 10 calls per month, while those who are in need of secure confinement because they present a risk to public safety or are considered escape risks can only make six personal calls.
When an inmate calls outside the system, they are charged at government rates. An individual call within the United States costs 10 cents per minute. Calls made from prisons are free. However, due to high rates for long distance calls, many inmates use their limited supply of calling cards. These cards cost about $1.50 each and allow the inmate to make a maximum of ten calls per card before being unable to make any more calls.
Prisoners can also send faxes and use email from prison if these methods are allowed by regulation.
Since inmates cannot be monitored in real time like people living outside of prison walls, they often use phones to arrange meetings with others who can help them find work when they are released. In fact, research has shown that more than three-fourths of all federal inmates called someone upon release, most often a friend or family member.
Fifteen minutes While phone calls are limited to 15 minutes, inmates must wait one hour after the end of the previous conversation before making another. Inmates are only able to phone numbers that have been pre-approved. To receive approval, all a prisoner has to do is enter the contact's name and phone number into their TRULINCS contact list. That person's information will then be available for transfer onto the call log at any time. There is also a paid service called "Dial A Friend." This service allows inmates to reach out to friends and family members who may not know they are being contacted. In addition to these services, inmates can use their phones for legal purposes such as contacting public defenders or attorneys.
Here are some more questions about using telephones in jail:
No, if you are calling toll-free from the prison phone you will be charged at cost. If you have local access code you may be able to get a discount.
You can send cash through the mail by going to the post office. You can also pay with a credit card via online banking services or by calling your bank.
Call limits vary based on the prison's house rules, however calls are normally restricted to 15 minutes, and convicts must wait thirty minutes before making another call. Calls are recorded and monitored by jail personnel. Phone credits are usually obtained using an inmate account card. If a phone number is available for delivery (i.e., not blocked), then it can be called even if an account card is not present.
In addition to the time limit, inmates also have a maximum number of calls they can make in any period. This is typically limited to four calls per hour or two per day, depending on the prison policy. However, prisoners can get special permission from correctional officers to make more calls than this limit. In some cases, they may even be allowed to call from their cells!
Generally speaking, prison phones only work within the facility where they are located. Some allow outgoing calls to numbers provided by relatives or friends, but these are usually limited to a small number of people. It is important to remember that you will need to provide your own phone number when applying for a license or permit. Officers will not give out existing numbers!
Jail phones are useful tools for communicating with people outside of the prison environment, but they can't reach people everywhere. For example, someone incarcerated in Texas would not be able to call someone in California.
While phone calls are limited to 15 minutes, inmates must wait one hour after the end of the previous conversation before making another. The prison restricts calls to family members and two other people at a time.
In addition to regular telephone calls, inmates can send email from behind bars. The amount of mail that each inmate is allowed to send is based on their status: minimum security inmates can send up to five letters and postcards to friends and family per month, while those in maximum security cannot send or receive any material through the mail.
Prisoners can also hire lawyers to help them with issues such as appealings convictions or parole hearings. However, these attorneys must confirm that they will not be contacted by the prison by visiting its website first.
Finally, inmates can ask for special permission to call people who have not been approved by staff. For example, an inmate might be able to call a hospital to check on the health of a loved one. These requests are usually granted if it doesn't put others at risk of harm - for example, an inmate could not call a crime scene until after police had finished investigating.
As well as being limited by time, inmates must also follow up on their conversations.