Everything About NYS Inmate Phone 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.

A Breakdown of NYS Inmate Phone Calls

Keeping in touch with a loved one in jail is crucial for getting through this arduous period. There are various ways you can maintain contact with a prisoner aside from phone calls:

One study found that inmates who kept in touch with their family and friends while in jail had more chances at a better life later on. Visitation and a written word can make a prisoner feel supported and hopeful about the future, but there’s also something special about hearing their loved one’s voice over the phone.

We’ll guide you through everything you should know before taking a phone call from an inmate in NYS prison.

NYS Inmate Calling Rules To Keep in Mind

Before you talk to someone in an NYS jail over the phone, you should become familiar with their phone system rules:

  • All calls are recorded and possibly monitored
  • Inmates can make phone calls between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • You cannot call an inmate unless it’s an emergency—they need to call you
  • Inmates can only call people from their prison-approved list—usually up to 15 people
  • One phone call may last up to 30 minutes—less if several inmates are waiting to make a phone call

Who Can NYS Inmates Call?

Prisoners cannot call anyone they want. They have to comprise a list of people they would like to phone, and then their correctional facility needs to approve it. Check out who can be put on this list:

Inmates Can CallInmates Cannot Call
  • Friends
  • Attorneys
  • Support groups
  • Family members
  • Jurors
  • Judges
  • Crime partners
  • People that aren’t on the approved list

Inmates can update the contact list and add or remove someone. If they don’t have your phone number, you can include it in a letter and send it to them so that they can put you on the list.

New York State Prison Phone System

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has an agreement with Securus—a prison communications provider.

If you want to pick up a call from NYS prisons, you need a Securus account. You can set it up online or by dialing 1-800-844-6591.

Securus has three payment options you can choose from:

  1. Direct Bill—Securus bills your account monthly
  2. Inmate Debit—You can add money to the inmate’s calling account. This way, they pay for the calls
  3. Advance Connect—You decide how much you want to spend in advance, which means the calls are prepaid
  4. A Local Exchange Carrier (LEC)-billed account—This option allows collect calls, which means that the person on the receiving end pays for them to the local phone company

How Much Are New York State Inmate Phone Calls?

The price of inmate phone calls depends on various factors:

  • Fluctuating rates
  • Applicable taxes and fees
  • Type of the call - whether it’s a local or a long-distance call

Jails and telephone companies make a lot of money off of inmate phone calls. Securus has accumulated $2.5 million in a year from NYC alone.

The inmate calling rates have recently been lowered, and they are the same regardless of your location in the U.S.

The current inmate calling rates are:

  • Local calls—$0.043 per minute
  • In-state calls—$0.043 per minute
  • Out-of-state calls—$0.043 per minute

The rules and regulations concerning prices change frequently, so we advise you to check with the correctional facility, as well as with Securus.

Contact Loved Ones in Prison Using DoNotPay

Inmates may not always be able to call you due to:

  • Power outages in prison
  • Punishment for misconduct
  • Lack of money in their telephone account

When this happens, you can always turn to DoNotPay for help! With these three amazing features, you will stay in touch with your incarcerated loved one:

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

How Can I Locate an Inmate Through DoNotPay

Knowing the correct location of the prisoner you want to reach is crucial. If you don’t know their full address, you can’t address letters or packages correctly.

Don’t panic—DoNotPay can find any inmate in a few clicks!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit DoNotPay in a
  2. Choose the Connect With an Inmate feature
  3. Tap on Locate Someone
  4. Write the prisoner’s full name
  5. Type in New York when asked about the state
  6. Answer a few more questions
  7. Click on Submit

Sending a Letter to an NYS Inmate via DoNotPay

As with inmate calling, inmate mail has its rules and regulations.

Thanks to DoNotPay, you don’t have to wonder if you’re following the rules. We’ll make sure your letter meets all the requirements.

This is what you should do:

  1. Open DoNotPay in your
  2. Select Connect With an Inmate
  3. Click on Send a Personalized Letter
  4. Type in the name of your loved one
  5. Enter their Inmate ID or Booking Number
  6. Compose your letter

DoNotPay offers an option to add a photo and choose a template for holidays or special occasions. Our mission is to make the letter as personalized as possible. If you need some inspiration, check out our articles on inmate love letters, creative mail ideas, and sample letters of encouragement to inmates.

What Is DoNotPay’s Virtual Mailbox?

One of DoNotPay’s features is the virtual mailbox. This is where you will access the letters from your loved one in jail.

Here is how the letters arrive in your mailbox:

  1. The inmate writes a letter and sends it
  2. DoNotPay digitizes the letter
  3. You receive the digitized version of the letter in your virtual mailbox

What Can I Send to a Prisoner?

When you want to add a personal touch to an inmate letter and make it creative, be careful what you add to it. Here are some rules to consider when sending a letter to prison:

  • Send a plain greeting card
  • Add newspaper and magazine snippets
  • Include a photo no larger than 4x6 inches
  • Put the inmate’s full name and ID number on every page and envelope in case some pages get lost
  • Spray perfume
  • Add a polaroid picture
  • Write about illegal activities
  • Talk about the inmate’s case
  • Send a pop-up or a musical card
  • Use glitter, stickers, colored paper, or colored pens (other than blue or black)

Use DoNotPay To Find More Answers and Solutions

Navigating through the NYS prison system can be difficult. Don’t despair—DoNotPay can allay your concerns and answer your questions about prison marriage, inmate text messages, sending books to inmates, and iCare packages for inmates.

Visit DoNotPay in a and check out our numerous articles on different issues—administrative, , and others.

DoNotPay will be your virtual sidekick the next time you need to:

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