Get information about receiving inmate calls from federal or state prison,
or county jail where your inmate is located, and the best way to save.
In most cases, inmates' telephone calling options are limited to calling collect or a pre-paid account.
Calling collect is the most expensive option, and can cost around 18$ for a 15 minute phone call.
A pre-paid account means that the inmate has an account set up with the telephone service provider contracted by the state prison or jail. Each jail and state prison across the country has a contract with one telephone service provider, and all phone calls have to be made through that provider.
This means paying ridiculously high fees for long distance phone calls, as well as a number of hidden fees and taxes that seriously increase the cost of connecting with an inmate.
However, since February 2014, the FCC instituted new rate caps for interstate calls from prisons:
This equates to a per-call rate cap (including per-call charges) of:
A prepaid account is not required for inmates in Federal facilities, where the inmate’s commissary account is charged for calls.
A commissary account is a pre-paid account that allows prisoners to purchase food and pay for phone calls. Friends and family can load a prisoner's commissary account via mail, at the jail, through Western Union, or through offenderconnect.com/portal.
Money is added to the commissary account to allow the inmate to call.
The best way to save on prison phone calls (federal, state and county) is to get a number local to the facility where the inmate is.
Companies that offer savings on inmate phone calls mostly offer family and friends of the inmate an opportunity to receive a phone number local to the detention facility, which rings to the home, office or cell phone.
This means the inmate calls a local number to reach family and friends, instead of dialing long distance at overly inflated rates.
In the case of federal facilities using this option means the price per minute will drop from 0.22 - 0.24 cents per minute to 0.07 - 0.06 cents.
As advertised by the many companies providing local phone numbers, the savings are on average 80% per phone call.
In state prisons, the inmate still needs a pre-paid account with the licensed phone provider; the savings depend on what they discount for local calls versus long distance calls, and this varies widely from state to state. However, on average, the savings are 35-90% on each call.
Federal Correctional Institutions and Federal Prison:
State Correctional Facilities and County Prisons and Jails:
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