TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Collect Calls From Correctional Facilities

Re: Collect Calls From Correctional Facilities
5 May 2005 08:20:19 -0700

Jack Decker wrote:

> <>. From time to time there has
> been some discussion about the high cost of calls from correctional
> facilities.

This is by state policy to make a handsome profit. Considering the
families of prison inmates did nothing wrong and often poor, such a
policy seems immoral.

Considering that continuing family contact is very helpful in inmate
rehabilitation and morale (which translates to less fights and riots
within the prison and less recidisvm crime), it would be good public
policy NOT to make a profit on such calls, rather, to encourage such
calls at no more than cost or even at a subsidy. The actual toll cost
to prisons for such calls is extremely low since states buy long
distance in bulk at very low rates; though there is a monitoring cost
and that is important for numerous security reasons.

> ...and also the fact that in many cases, people who have only
> cellular or VoIP service are unable to receive such calls, and this
> appears to be a partial solution.

Can cellular and VOIP services receive collect calls placed from
traditional locations, such as pay stations or landline phones?

Since VOIP could serve as someone's home telephone service, though
ought to be able to receive collect calls. Emergencies happen.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But Lisa, the Corrections Industry runs
things, not social workers. The Corrections Industry has no interest
at all in keeping guys from going back to prison. They are hoping in
fact they do go back. Nothing warms their hearts more than some
seventeeen or eighteen year old guy who gets a life sentence with no
chance of parole. That _always_ gives them a thrill when they contem-
plate the next thirty or so years of that guy's life. So please don't
get any weird ideas about 'keeping the family involved' or being able
to 'stay in touch with the world, etc'. Corrections has no time nor
place for all that rot. The _only reason_ prisons/jails have phones
for prisoner use at all is because those liberal Supremes and their
'run-away activist' court required them to do so several years
ago. You know the Judiciary which thinks _it_ is in charge of things.
Illinois, for example, deliberatly builds its prisons at the far
south end of the state -- 300 miles from Chicago -- although 95
percent of the inmates are from Chicago. Their thoughts in Chicago are
the prisoner is 'scum' by extension his family must be also.

Now regards _Billed Number Screening_, the telco database which (if
you choose to get listed on it) allows no collect nor third party
billings to your number. Ask your service rep if you want to get
listed there. It is a national (inter-telco) database which all telcos
consult when someone asks to make a 'collect' call or to 'bill this
call on my home phone'. VOIP and cellular are all listed there by
default. You _cannot_ 'call collect' to VOIP or cell, and of course
VOIP does not even have any 'operator services' anyway, however cell
does have operator services, usually brokered through the incumbent
telco in the area. I know Prairie Stream (our local telco) for example
brokers its operator services from SBC and its directory assistance
through SBC also. You cannot 'call collect' to my house either; with
the cost of collect/third-party billing calls being so extravagent
as compared to the pennies you pay for direct dial (and an 800 number
being so cheap these days as well), why take a chance on some phreak
or phone phraud person playing a trick on you. PAT]

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