Is There a Free Local Number for Inmate Calls?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Is There Such a Thing as a Free Local Number for Inmate Calls?

People who have loved ones in correctional facilities often look for ways to lower their phone expenses when talking to them. This is particularly important if the inmate is located in another state, so the phone call rates are even higher. Is there a way to turn that number into a local number and get cheaper calls?

There’s no such thing as free lunch—or free calls in this case. If you want to save some money when talking to inmates, you should focus on finding the cheapest possible option.

How To Use Cheap Inmate Calling Services?

Some companies like SaveOnPrisonCalls offer services that include switching your number to a local number of the state your incarcerated loved one is being held in.

According to SaveOnPrisonCalls, when the prisoner calls you, they will reach your existing number—the important difference being that the local rate will be charged instead of the higher long-distance one. This difference is not negligible since the local rate for the U.S. federal prisons is 0.6 per minute while the long-distance rate is 0.21 per minute.

You need to sign up for a local number. Changing your actual number isn’t necessary. Once you have the number, you should send it to the inmate so they can add it to their list of approved numbers. After that, you will need to set up a prepaid account (the institution’s phone carrier) for the new number in case a prisoner cannot have a telephone debit account.

Many people consider using Google Voice with the same idea, but does it work?

Can You Use Google Voice for Inmate Calls?

The idea behind Google Voice is to pick any number you want after registering for free. Google Voice should then forward incoming calls from that number to your existing number, be it landline or cellphone. The aim is the same—people want to use local numbers of the same area code as the correctional facility and thus save money on calls.

In reality, strict prison rules are to be obeyed, and institutions have their own ways of checking for suspicious activity. Because of this, you won’t be able to receive collect calls via the Google Voice number. If a prisoner uses call-forwarding services, they might lose the right to call anyone. This means you should stick to the rules and follow the law even if you have to pay more to talk to your loved ones.

What You Should Do Before Calling a Prisoner

You can’t call a prisoner anytime you like. Correctional facilities have rules and regulations that have to be obeyed and strict schedules for talking to prisoners over the phone. Make sure to find out the specific details for the particular facility:

  1. How many times a week/month can prisoners make calls?
  2. What time during the day can they call someone?
  3. Do they allow only collect calls or prepaid accounts through third parties as well?

Who Is Allowed To Call the Convicts?

Inmates are the ones making calls, but their actions are closely monitored, and jail staff makes sure they don’t call anyone they wish. The number must be on the list of approved, previously checked numbers, and the prison authorities have to be certain the person behind the number is not a threat in any way.

Prisoners can callPrisoners can’t call
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Attorneys
  • Support groups
  • People who are not on their approved list
  • Witnesses or victims of the crime they committed
  • Gang members
  • Anyone who is a threat to them or the society

You should make sure that the offender has your phone number because otherwise, they won’t be able to contact you. In case you know their exact location, you can send them a letter containing your phone number.

Stay in Touch With an Inmate With DoNotPay’s Help

DoNotPay can help you connect with the person you care about, no matter what correctional facility they are in. We offer handy features making it easy to keep in touch with your incarcerated loved one. If you open DoNotPay in your and choose the Connect With an Inmate option, you can pick from the following services:

  • Send a Personalized Letter to an Inmate
  • Virtual Mailbox
  • Locate an Inmate

How To Send a Letter to an Inmate Fast and Easy With DoNotPay

If a prisoner doesn’t have your phone number, you can always write it in a letter and send it to them. DoNotPay can help you simplify this otherwise complicated process. We will deal with addressing the letter to the inmate properly.

Here are the only steps you’ll need to follow to write to a prisoner:

  1. Log in to your DoNotPay account
  2. Find the Send a Personalized Letter option and click on it
  3. Enter the key info about the prisoner, such as their full name or ID number
  4. Compose your message
  5. Attach photos to the letter if you wish
  6. Choose one of our awesome customized letter templates

When you are done, we will print the letter and send it to the imprisoned person you care about. Once you see how simple the process is, you can use it as many times as you wish and make days easier for your loved one.

Receive Letters From Prisoners With DoNotPay’s Help

No one likes to listen to monologues, and even though your words will bring comfort to the person in jail, they will feel even better if they can respond to you. DoNotPay has made sure that this process runs smoothly as well. It involves only three simple steps:

  1. The prisoner needs to send the letter to our address
  2. DoNotPay digitizes the letter once we get it
  3. We send the digitized version to your Virtual Mailbox

Locate an Inmate With DoNotPay’s Help

What happens if you want to get in touch with a certain prisoner but don’t know which correctional facility they are located in? DoNotPay steps in to help you find them! And we do so efficiently:

  1. Sign in to your DoNotPay account and select the Locate Someone category
  2. Write the full name of the prisoner you are searching for
  3. Tell us what state they are located in
  4. Click on Proceed

And that’s all! You will know the exact location of your future prison pen pal, even without providing us with their ID or unit number. Once you know where they are, you can visit the inmate, following the institution’s rules.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you find out everything about inmate calls. If you want to know how communication providers like GTL, Securus, or ICSolutions work, we have your answers.

We also have to scoop on federal inmate phone calls and inmate call apps.

You can count on the world’s first AI Consumer Champion to help you with numerous other problems you would normally have to deal with on your own.

Open DoNotPay in your and learn how to:

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