Jail inmates get pre-paid phone cards

(BROWN COUNTY, S.D.) -- Inmates at the Brown County Jail will soon have a choice about how phone charges will be billed.

Currently, all outgoing calls from inmates are collect to the person receiving the call. But during their regular meeting Tuesday, Brown County commissioners gave jail workers permission to sell pre-paid calling cards to inmates. The county would buy the cards from Evercom, which provides phone services to the jail, for $7 each. The county would then sell the calling cards to prisoners for $10 plus tax.

John Vander Hoek of the Brown County Sheriff's Department said profits would go into the general fund.

He said selling the cards would eliminate one problem that Evercom sometimes faces -- people accepting then refusing to pay collect-call charges. When that happens, those numbers are blocked and inmates cannot call them.

But with the cards, inmates would be paying for their own calls.

Even with the cards, some phone numbers--those of victims, for example--can be blocked, Vander Hoek said. In addition, inmates who are transferred to another jail or to the state prison can use the cards at those facilities as well.

Inmates can use jail phones from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. They'll be able to talk for about 15 minutes per card, Vander Hoek said. (iSyndicate; Aberdeen American News; Nov. 9, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

Back to previous page