There are a few major telecommunications companies that provide phone calling services for inmates. You can receive calls from an inmate on a cell phone by registering with one of these companies and setting up a prepaid calling account. The process is relatively simple, and gives inmates a way to communicate with the outside world beyond scheduled visits.
Collect Calls From Jail
Collect phone calls – which automatically charge the person receiving the call – are the default calling option for prisons. Most wireless phone service providers don't accept collect calls, meaning you have to sign up with a third party company to receive calls from jail on your cell phone. IC Solutions, Securus Technologies and Global Tel Link all offer this service. Each company also offers different types of accounts, depending how you'd like to pay for it. At Securus, for example, you can chose between a prepaid calling account, a direct bill or regular collect rates. You can also set up an inmate debit account, where the person in jail pays for his own telephone calls.
Sign up online, or by calling the respective company. Keep an eye out for fees they charge when topping up the account when comparing between providers, as well as the per-minute charge.
Rates for Receiving Inmate Calls
Because prisons have contracts with only a select few of these telecommunications companies, rates have traditionally been very high. The Federal Communications Commission set new rate caps for inmate calling in 2016. Those rates – 21 cents per minute for debit/prepaid calls and 25 cents per minute for collect calls – took effect for prisons in December 2016 and jails in March 2017.
Every correctional facility has different inmate calling policies, and may use a different third party service. Check with your respective jail or prison before registering with Global Tel Link or Securus Technologies.