Virginia Prison Phones, Packages & MailUse this forum to discuss Virginia prison Phones, Packages & Mail issues & topics. If you have a question about or want to discuss visitation in a specific Virginia facility, please visit that facility's region (Eastern, Western, Central) in the Virginia forum.
Can inmates receive phone calls?
No. Division Operating Procedure 855 permits inmates to place only operator-assisted collect telephone calls on the Inmate Telephone System. Further, inmates are only permitted to call persons on their pre-approved call list. This list is limited to fifteen (15) numbers, including attorney numbers. Any telephone number placed on an inmate’s call list must be physically located at the subscriber’s address as shown on the billing statement. Calls placed by the inmate must be directly to, and terminate at, the number on the call list.
This pertains to Virginia DOC facilties only - all regional and local jails have their own system and it is not DOC.
Your loved one was just transferred into DOC and you need to set up a collect phone account so they can call you. Here is how it works:
1. Your inmate will get a PIN as soon as they get there. This 4 digit number stays with them as they transfer or get moved. It will work in any DOC facility.
2. They will take that PIN and enter in your phone number for validation. You will get an automated message saying that an inmate at (insert facility) is trying to make collect phone calls to you. You have to follow the prompts and answer each question, like who you are, are you financially responsible for this phone, that type thing. Once they validate the number, you may be able to get a few calls before they make you go to a direct account, depending on who your carrier is.
3. Call Global Tel*Link Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-231-0193 and enter in your phone number. They will validate it and then let you sit on hold until a human can talk to you. They will verify what facility your loved one is at and what your phone number is. This is the time to ask how much calls are going to cost. Be sitting down because it will shock you.
4. You have to fax in the front page of your last phone bill to 1-866-441-7285. Circle your telephone number on the bill, circle your name and address, and then write a 4 digit PIN number for you to use. Now wait two business days.
5. Call back to the 1-800-231-0193 and if they have you hold for a human, ask if they have set up your account. If they ask for your PIN, they have; they won't tell you this though. Once your PIN works, you can set up your account online to check your balance and pay your bill. You can also call the 1-800-231-0193 number and pay through the phone with a credit or debit card. You can also mail in a check, but it can take a week or two to show up on your account.
Now, by default they will set you on the 'Direct Remit' account, where they will start you with a credit of $100. This means you can run up $100 of calls before they will block it and you have to send them money to unblock it.
There is a pre-pay account but you have to ask for it. This will give you a decrease off the rates and you have to give them the money first and then they take from that for your calls. When you reach $0, your calls will then be transferred over to the regular collect format and will then be billed on your Verizon bill. This means, if you have Verizon, and you have a pre-pay account and you use up that money, they will then switch it over and you will then have the additional ones show up on your Verizon bill. (That shocked me when he told me that.) If you have Cavalier, or another carrier they don't have a billing agreement with, they will block your prepay account once it hits $0.
With the Direct Remit, you can increase the limit after three months of paying on time. They will tell you if you are eligible for a $50 increase and it is up to you if you want to increase it or not. Just as I was nearing my limit and no money coming in for 4 days, that increase hit and I avoided a block, so it can be very helpful at times to have a higher limit. Just remember, you will eventually have to pay it.
The rates are as follows:
Local call is a flat $1 on the Direct Remit and $.90 on the Prepay. This is a flat fee and is whether you talk for a minute or the whole 20.
Intralata is $1.75 connect fee and $.15 a minute. A 20 minute call would cost $4.75. Prepay would drop to $1.50 connect and $.14 a minute for a total of $4.30. (Intralata is mainly the same area code, but isn't a local call from what I can tell.)
Interlata is $2.25 to connect and $.25 a minute = $7.25 for 20 minutes. Prepay would be $6.99 for 20 minutes. (Interlata is basically anywhere in Virginia that is a long distance call for you.)
Out of State costs $2.40 to connect and $.45 a minute = $11.40 for the 20 minutes. Prepay would still be $2.40 to connect, but the per minute goes to $.43 = $11 for 20 minutes.
You can have one set of rates, then when your inmate is moved, you will get another set based on where he/she is. For example: You live 10 miles away from Deep Meadow where he went for intake, it is a local call. Then he gets moved to Augusta CC, you will now have to pay Interlata. It works the other way too. If he is moved closer to you, your rates should drop.
Last edited by Onedaycloser13; 05-22-2012 at 06:15 AM..
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