Federal Inmate Phone Calls Explained

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All You Need To Know About Federal Inmate Phone Calls

When your loved one is in jail, it’s only natural to want to keep in touch and make them feel loved and supported. One of the few ways you can do this is by talking on the phone.

The idea seems simple, but there are many differences in telephone regulations and restrictions in prisons across the U.S.

Lucky for you, DoNotPay has answers to all of your questions about receiving federal inmate phone calls. We'll also suggest other convenient ways to stay connected with an incarcerated loved one.

Things To Know About Federal Inmate Calls

Like any other prison, federal prisons do not allow inmates to receive a call—they can only make one. You are only allowed to call a loved one in jail in case of an emergency.

Before you pick up the phone and talk to a prisoner, you should be aware of a few rules and details.

How Long Can Federal Inmates Talk on the Phone?

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) lets federal inmates make phone calls up to 300 minutes per month, and 400 in November in December, because of the holiday season. Each call can last no more than 15 minutes, and it will be disconnected when the allocated time expires. Another time-related restriction is that inmates cannot make a phone call immediately one after the other. They have to wait 15 to 60 minutes before they dial again.

Telephone hours are not the same in every prison. Usually, they start at 6 or 8 a.m. and end at 11 or 11:30 p.m.

Who Can Federal Prisoners Call?

Inmates in federal prisons can call their:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Attorney

They can contact people who have been approved by the prison. Usually, they must make a TRULINCS list of 30 contacts and can only call people on this list. Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) is a system that allows federal prisoners to comprise a list of authorized contacts.

Federal Prison Phone Rates

Phone call prices can vary. Currently, the local calls are $0.6 per minute, whereas long-distance calls are $0.21 per minute. Compared to local calls, the long-distance price amounts to a lot more money in terms of the allowed 300 minutes per month.

There is a way you can circumvent the issue when you’re not in the same area as your incarcerated loved one. You can create a free local number for inmate calls and use it to forward the call to your existing number. This way, you will be charged according to the local phone rates.

Who bears the cost of the phone call depends on its type. There are typically three phone call types:

Phone Call TypeBrief Explanation
PrepaidThe inmate can decide how much they want to spend beforehand
DebitLoved ones can add funds to the inmate’s account
CollectThe people who take the inmate call pay for it, unlike the first two

Are Prison Phone Calls Monitored?

All phone calls made from federal prison are recorded and could be monitored by the BOP. The only calls that are not recorded are the ones with an attorney. They can still be monitored if the BOP staff is with the prisoner when they’re telephoning.

How Do Federal Inmates Make Phone Calls?

Before a federal prisoner can give you a call, they need to:

  • Make a list of contacts
  • Get a personal phone access code (PAC) to log in to TRULINCS
  • Buy Inmate Telephone System (ITS) credits that are used to pay for prepaid phone calls

Three major inmate telephone providers make up the $1.2 billion industry—Securus, IC Solutions, and Global Tel Link. Check your loved one’s correctional facility to see if they only allow collect calls or if they are using some of these providers.

How Can I Send Money to a Federal Inmate?

Sending funds to a federal prisoner can be done via mail, MoneyGram, or Western Union.

When it comes to sending money to an inmate through the U.S. Postal Service, you can do it in the following way:

  1. Find the inmate’s location
  2. Obtain the money order
  3. Include the prisoner’s full committed name and their eight-digit register number in the order
  4. Send the money to this location:

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Insert Valid Committed Inmate Name

Insert Inmate Eight-Digit Register Number

Post Office Box 474701

Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

Locate a Loved One in Federal Prison With DoNotPay

If you’re not sure about the prisoner’s location, DoNotPay can help you find it by following these steps:

  1. Visit DoNotPay in your
  2. Choose the Connect With an Inmate option
  3. Tap on Locate Someone
  4. Enter the prisoner’s full name
  5. Answer a few more questions
  6. Tap on Submit

How Else Can Federal Inmates Keep in Touch With Loved Ones?

When inmates use up all their minutes or cannot call their loved ones for some reason, it’s good to know there are other ways to keep in touch:

Connect With a Federal Prisoner Using DoNotPay

DoNotPay can come in handy in more than one way when it comes to contacting someone in federal prison. We have three features at your disposal:

  1. Virtual Mailbox
  2. Locate Someone
  3. Send a Personalized Letter

Send a Personalized Letter via DoNotPay

If you send a letter to a federal prisoner using DoNotPay, you won’t have to worry about addressing the letter properly or forgetting to include something. You can focus on writing it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open DoNotPay in any
  2. Select the Connect With an Inmate feature
  3. Click on Send a Personalized Letter
  4. Enter the inmate’s name and their Inmate ID
  5. Answer a few questions
  6. Write your letter and add a photo if you wish

DoNotPay will print out your letter and send it out as soon as possible.

Can I Receive a Letter From Federal Prison on DoNotPay?

You can receive letters from a federal inmate in DoNotPay’s Virtual Mailbox. This is how it works:

  1. The prisoner writes a letter and sends it to DoNotPay
  2. The letter will then be digitized
  3. You get the digitized version of the letter in your virtual mailbox

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for Me?

DoNotPay has answers to other questions about a loved one in federal prison. You may want to know about inmate mail rules and regulations, sending books to inmates, sample letters of encouragement to inmates, and sending magazines to inmates through Amazon.

Our work doesn’t stop there. We are committed to helping people from all walks of life in numerous aspects. Visit DoNotPay in your and rely on us next time you want to:

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