View Full Version : Fed Prison Collect Calling


FEDUP1
01-18-2007, 09:34 AM
You are crazy if you accept collect calls from federal prisons. The cheapest way to go is to set up a pre-paid account. the surcharge is about $1.00 less than a collect call and the per minute rate is 22 cents cheaper per minute than a collect call. When you receive a collect call, listen to the number they give you on how to reduce the cost of the collect call.

kintml2u
01-24-2007, 04:07 AM
I'm not crazy...but I find the best and cheapest method is for the prisoner to prepay on his/her end. From those I have spoken to concerning setting up a prepaid account...they end up paying more then I would on a regular collect call. And if for some reason funds are low...you aren't getting no calls!

And the thing I find totally unappealing about setting up a prepaid account is...

Once you go there, there is no going back!

So for all those to consider, be sure to do your research.

Zelda50
01-24-2007, 06:59 PM
It seems like the only reason to set up a pre-paid account rather than send money to the inmate's commissary account for direct calls is if your inmate has difficulty handling money or has a drug or gambling addiction, etc., that the money would end up going elsewhere and not to the phone. Otherwise, the cheapest way is to send the money to the prisoner's commissary and they transfer it to their phone account. Z.

dcmitchellswife
01-24-2007, 07:13 PM
thanks Zelda, that happened to answer a question I e-mailed you about today! I am trying to figure out the best way on the money situation, now should I take it to Lane County and send it with him or mail it to hime when he gets there or wire transfer it after he gets there? A million questions this week!
Paula

Zelda50
01-25-2007, 05:38 PM
My suggestion is to ask at the county jail if they will send his commissary funds with him when he goes to the feds or do they send a check home for the remaining funds. If they send the funds with him, then that would be the best thing to do - put it on his books at the county jail. If the funds don't go with him then wait til he gets to the feds and then you can either send the funds to the Iowa Lockbox address via the mail or via Western Union. After the first initial funds are deposited into his account, then I suggest any funds after that be sent via mail because Western Union is a lot more expensive. The funds sent via mail get deposited most quickly if it is a U.S. Postal money order rather than any other money order.

kintml2u
01-25-2007, 06:05 PM
Curious...if they send a check with him, from county to feds, will the location he hits deposit it in his account or will they 1. send it to Iowa, 2. make him send check home? I'd lean on the side of caution...if he doesn't need funds right now while at county, even when mailing a money order to Iowa, it really doesn't take but a couple days to hit. Or of course the western union.

Zelda50
01-26-2007, 12:46 AM
That's a good point, Kimtml2u. And, as I thought about it, who knows if the person you ask at the county jail really knows what the heck they're talking about. You can ask three people at a county jail the same question and get three different answers. Z.

kintml2u
01-26-2007, 03:45 AM
True...and that also goes for other prison systems. Atleast when dealing with the BOP the average answer is 'I can not give that information, it is not public information'. :p


I was gonna suggest that too but...I stayed low.

noname10
01-26-2007, 03:57 PM
True story about money and county jails and federal marshals. I was in county jail had money on me when arrested which was put on the books there.
1. Marshals show up take the cash and me to a private prison with contract to hold federal inmates.
2. Did not receive money receipt from prison and was transferred to another county jail before I could talk to a counselor about money.
3. Told money would be put on my account and be waiting for me at final destination.
4. Got to final destination, no money. Counselor called marshals several times.
5. Got to halfway house still no money, finally got to talk to marshals myself and was told I needed to file a tort claim for money.
6 Finally got money 5 months after release from BOP custody.

I think I would send the money to the lockbox and it will be available for him when he gets to his federal designation. They cant take anything from county jail or detention centers anyway. If you want to put like $10 or $15 on the county book for junk food just know he will have to give it away when he leaves.

kintml2u
01-26-2007, 04:11 PM
We ran into problems as well...but his was a different case. He was actually being held in state under an alias. Although the state really knew who he was...and released his 'true self' to the federal marshalls, they decided to print the check out in the alias name therefore the marshalls would not accept it as part of his property to be taken with him! :p It was left in the box for me to pick up!

Zelda50
01-26-2007, 06:56 PM
Hey - on the subject of money left behind. I would urge everyone to go to those websites created by various states where you can see if you have unclaimed money. Put in the name of any loved one or friend in prison and see if they have any money to be claimed. I did that for a couple guys in prison and two of them actually got a bunch of money from it. Some relative had died and left it for one guy and he didn't know it. Another one got money that had been left on his commissary account in a county jail when he escaped. LOL! To claim the money, they had to verify their identity but they just had their prison counselor sign a statement. Sorry to hi-jack the thread but it just reminded me of that. Hey - I should start a service for inmates and take a percentage of the proceeds... or not. Z.

kintml2u
01-28-2007, 04:50 PM
Zelda...do you think you can find me some money somewhere? :p I'll share, no problem! :p

TxRhino
01-28-2007, 08:11 PM
If you are trying to save money and cut your expenses involved with having a loved one inside, the phones is the first and most obvious way to do it.

I had other issues... IFRP to name one, but during my research I found that Federal Phone time was charged at .23 cents/min for long distance and only .06 cents/min for local calls. That in mind, I contacted my cell phone provider and was able to add a 2nd line on a "Shared Plan" for no additional money and got a free phone to boot. What I did was have the 2nd line given a number that was local to my wife's facility.

Not only did my Fed Phone bell drop from $69.00/ mnth to $18.00/ mnth for the 300 minutes.... I now had a Hot Line that was exclusively for my wifes use. By adding the new number t her phone list (and with free long distance and roaming on my cell plan) my wife was able to call me using the local number (@.06 cent per min) vs. the usual .23 cents for the long distance call. Net savings.... $51.00/mnth.

Keep the Faith

Michael :thumbsup:

sandra8376
01-29-2007, 08:25 PM
TxRhino,
I considered adding the second line for my cell account as well...that's when they told me that I would have to upgrade my plan (I don't talk much on my cell) and there was a monthly second line fee. I only came out about $10 ahead & would have had to pay for the phone. For me it wasn't cheaper - but I did consider it because I liked the idea of paying less for the calls. Since I'm not the one sending him money each month (his family does), it didn't make much difference to our bottom line.

For those of you who don't have the same roadblocks that I did, TxRhino's idea is an excellent one!

Zelda50
01-30-2007, 12:38 AM
Just don't forget you're adding an extra 300 minutes of usage, so you have to build that in.

dcmitchellswife
01-30-2007, 06:32 PM
OK, I just got my first letter today! Whooppee!!! Anyways the 300 is on it's way to Iowa and they said it could take a couple of weeks before he gets it to his account sooooo, how do I western Union money to get there now! I know he would love to have some money for commisary and phone account set up- so if someone can give me step by step directions as I seem to be a little on the slow side this week! My mind has been so foggy that I even managed to put the car in a ditch today and had to find someone to tow me out! I just want to get him settled so we can have a routine again, thanks all for your help!
Paula

RachelisJims
01-31-2007, 09:56 PM
Hey - on the subject of money left behind. I would urge everyone to go to those websites created by various states where you can see if you have unclaimed money. Put in the name of any loved one or friend in prison and see if they have any money to be claimed. I did that for a couple guys in prison and two of them actually got a bunch of money from it. Some relative had died and left it for one guy and he didn't know it. Another one got money that had been left on his commissary account in a county jail when he escaped. LOL! To claim the money, they had to verify their identity but they just had their prison counselor sign a statement. Sorry to hi-jack the thread but it just reminded me of that. Hey - I should start a service for inmates and take a percentage of the proceeds... or not. Z.
Hey Z, count me in. Maybe U could even patten the idea or what ever U have to do to make sure your the only one doing this idea.

Zelda50
02-02-2007, 07:04 PM
As long as an inmate has someone on the outside who has Internet access and a kind heart, they wouldn't need to pay anyone to do it. Z.

FEDUP1
03-03-2007, 01:40 PM
If you send money to the commissary account, the prison skims some off the top. I think pre-paid is still the way to go.

Eia
03-03-2007, 02:23 PM
If you send money to the commissary account, the prison skims some off the top. I think pre-paid is still the way to go.

Just curious..But how do you think this is the case?
When I send monies via Western Union,I am always given the exchange amount from sterling into dollars. He then tells me the amount that went in, so that I can check that it's the same amount that was sent.And it's always there to the last cent!

SCMom
03-06-2007, 03:20 PM
I'm a little confused about fed collect calling. If they run out of the 300 minutes, can they call collect?

Zelda50
03-06-2007, 03:49 PM
No.

Eia
03-06-2007, 03:50 PM
No..Once they use up their minutes-that's it ,I'm afraid!
Collect calling is just that the recipent pays for the call and not at the inmates end.:)

mamatries
03-06-2007, 03:55 PM
scmom, they only get 300 minutes either way. i was told by the phone company that the cost is the same, prepay and collect. so i keep some on my account just in case he needs to call collect. also my son doesn't do drugs or smoke and knows to never owe anyone in prison from gambling.