Why Do Phone Calls at Prisons Cost So Much?

Connect With an Inmate Why Do Phone Calls at Prisons Cost So Much?

Why Do Phone Calls at Prisons Cost So Much?

People behind bars are often forced to pay astronomical rates to call their loved ones or legal representatives. According to CBS News, a 15-minute call costs $5.74 on average, with some facilities charging a dollar or more per minute. So, why do phone calls at prisons cost so much? We'll get to that in a moment.

The cost of prison phone calls punishes people in the most desperate circumstances just trying to maintain a relationship with the ones they love. Exorbitant prison phone rates could mean cutting off communication with loved ones who serve as support systems and help with rehabilitation.

To make matters worse, correctional facilities don't allow inmates to receive phone calls; they can only make one. Not being able to call someone in prison can make it challenging to communicate regularly. Fortunately, DoNotPay has an alternative solution to staying in touch with an incarcerated loved one.

Read on to learn how DoNotPay can help you stay in contact with an imprisoned friend or family member by writing to them, or scheduling in-person visitation for those situations where being prison pen pals with an incarcerated loved one just doesn't cut it.

How Much Do Prison Calls Cost? 

As mentioned earlier in the article, incarcerated individuals often have to pay astronomical rates to call their loved ones or legal representatives. While prison phone rates can vary, a 15-minute call costs $5.74 on average, as per CBS News.

That's unreasonable pricing considering a typical phone call within the US is approaching $0.

Why Are Prison Phone Rates So High? 

Like many other issues affecting the most vulnerable in our society, the high cost of prison phone calls boils down to corporate greed. Since inmates can't shop around for phone providers, they are subjected to monopolies and surcharges.

The most popular prison phone providers include:

  1. Securus
  2. IC Solutions
  3. Global Tel Link

Types of Prison Phone Calls

There are a few different types of prison phone calls. The type of prison phone call may affect the cost and, more importantly, who bears the cost of the phone call. There are three common types of prison phone calls: collect, debit, and prepaid.

CollectA collect call is a type of prison call where the person who receives the call pays for it. The inmate gets to make a phone call without any charges.
DebitThe inmate calling bears the cost of the call, not the call recipient. Loved ones can add funds to the inmate's account.
PrepaidWith a prepaid call, an inmate pays for the call. Inmates purchase phone minutes and get to decide how much they want to spend on a phone call beforehand.

Types of calls will vary from one prison facility to the next. Check with the correctional facility where your loved one is serving time to see the type of prison phone calls they allow.

Is There a Way Around the High Cost of Prison Calls? 

Prison phone calls cost so much in the US. High prison phone rates can be disastrous for incarcerated individuals and their loved ones.

But all hope is not lost. Services like DoNotPay make it possible to avoid — or at least reduce the cost of prison phone calls significantly — by providing cheaper, more convenient alternatives. 

How DoNotPay Can Help

DoNotPay's Connect With an Inmate service can come in pretty handy when it comes to helping you maintain a relationship with an imprisoned loved one.

Locate Your Imprisoned Friend With DoNotPay

You can't maintain a relationship with your incarcerated friend or family if you don't know where they are. DoNotPay can help you locate your imprisoned loved one. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the Connect With an Inmate service on DoNotPay.


  2. Choose whether you want to locate a loved one, create a virtual mailbox, or send a personalized letter.


  3. If you want us to find your loved one, provide his or her personal details and the state they are located in. We'll then conduct a search on the appropriate state database.


  4. If you want to create a virtual mailbox, just provide your full name! We'll set one up for you so you can easily receive incoming mail from your loved one.


  5. If sending a personalized letter, tell us which facility your loved one is located in and what you would like to say to them. You can even include a photo! Your letter will be delivered automatically - just wait 10 days for it to arrive to your loved one!


What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay is more than just an easy way to connect with incarcerated loved ones. If you were wondering what else DoNotPay can do, here are some of the administrative tasks our robot lawyer help you with:

Sign up and start taking advantage of DoNotPay services right away.

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