How Does An Inmate Telephone System Work?
In addition to providing all the normal services of a standard telephone system, an inmate telephone system can include several other features, such as:
- Live monitoring and recording of calls
- Blocking of calls (to cell phones, for example)
- Flagging and call alerts warning staff when certain numbers are dialed
- Disconnection and remote shutdown of inmate telephone system in the event of a riot or other emergency
- Free telephone access when contacting lawyers, help lines and counselors
- Local and international calls
There are ways to get around some of these restrictions, you can learn more in our inmate phone call guide.
With the growth of internet based inmate telephone systems making their way into more institutions, many companies are working to develop new technologies, like video conferencing, to add to their services. These services improve inmates’ success during rehabilitation by allowing them to nurture their relationships through better communication.
If you’d like to find out more about how Inmate Telephone Systems work, you can refer to the following articles:
Making phone calls with an Inmate Telephone System
What are my options?
Using a phone in an inmate telephone system is not all that different from making a phone call from a standard pay phone. The cost of a call for an inmate is often set by the institution itself, based on the cost of maintaining and operating the inmate telephone system. Inmates often have several options available in order to pay for the calls:
- Prepaid Phone Cards – Phone cards available from particular inmate telephone systems which often work out to be cheaper than making collect calls
- Debit Phone Cards – Phone cards available from particular inmate telephone systems. Unlike prepaid cards, there is no upfront payment and calls are billed afterward.
- Collect Calls – Call charges are reversed and billed to the person being called. While these calls are often the most expensive option, they are also the most common.
- Standard Phone Cards – In rare cases, some institutions allow the use of standard calling cards.
For more information on making phone calls from a correctional facility, refer to the article Inmate Phone Calls.
Inmate Telephone System Providers
There are several companies that provide different inmate telephone systems. The following list includes a few examples but is not exhaustive. You should always check with the relevant correctional facility to find out which system they have in place.
- CBS – Correctional Billing Services
- Offender Connect (previously operating as ITI Inmate Telephone & Inmate Banker)
- Pay-Tel Communications
- Global Tel Link
If you would like to include your company in our list of suppliers or link us to your website, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Is there any way to reduce the cost of calls from prison?
Yes! There are ways to reduce the costs of making inmate phone calls. Learn more in our inmate phone call guide.
Depending on the facility and your individual situation, using a phone card is probably the cheapest option for making phone calls from prison. Standard phone cards offer the most competitive rates, but are not always available.
Learn more about Inmate Telephone Providers, Inmate Telephone Service or Contact Us.
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