Unacknowledged Victims of the DOC
PRISON TELEPHONE CALLS
Maybe a Family Project?
Prisoners and their families are currently forced to subsidize the state and private industry through exorbitant collect call rates. You suggest inmates be given the ability to buy market-rate phone cards and that collect calls should be billed at standard rates. Are you optimistic that phone companies will ever make those changes? Are there any laws or activist movements that have gained ground on this issue?
From "Arrested Development by Kelly Hearn
I was on the phone with AT&T trying to open my service to collect calls because twice I have been on the road and could not call my own home collect. The service manager asked if I had made the calls from a prison. No, the calls were from a hotel room and an airport. "Why?" I asked. He said, "Because if it was from a prison then you'd get a recording saying, "This number does not accept collect calls," even if it does. I said, "Why pick that recording? What a way to tell a prisoner no one cares about him." He said, "That's just the way it's set up."
I learned something new today and didn't even have to have someone call me collect from inside to learn it.
Someone very dear to all of us had received a phone call from one of their loved ones and accidentally pushed the #5. Some prison systems are set up now if you push 5 you void any future calls from that place and other systems are set up it could be #7 or #8 or whatever. The person could not call back. The member called me, I called the prison and learned that you have to call your local or long distance carrier. The prison can't unlock that so do be careful when listening but if you accidentally push the wrong number and block your loved one, don't call the prison, call the phone company - at least for this time that worked. Love, Shirley/Bill (Wa)
NOTE: I'd say call both the phone company, and the prison, just so they are aware of the problem. It's possible they could get so annoyed at all the calls, that they would also contact the phone company. Opening every door. Kay Lee
If your getting screwed in CA or anywhere by MCI and their new billing practices please fill out a complaint and send to the FCC.....
MCI Phone Calls
The state makes between $29-36 million each year as a kickback from MCI for the state phone contract. Most of this money is made on the backs of hardworking inmate families & friends. Lately MCI – without any prior warning or public discussion – implemented a policy change which adversely affects our community.
MCI now requires families, who receive $100 or more in collect calls in a month, to setup a “Direct Bill Account” if they do not already have an account with MCI. While MCI claims it is a Direct Bill, there is an introductory pre-payment required.
MCI has disrespected our community by not advising us beforehand of their proposed policy change and allowing public input; and by applying the policy to all of us instead of those who were not paying their bill(s).
We deserve better.
I propose that during the first week of December (Dec. 1 thru Dec. 7th), we boycott all MCI services including inmate phone calls. This is a small effort on our part that would decrease MCI and State phone contract revenues by 2% each as a result. MCI and the State care about money and this gets them in the pocketbook.
If you have experienced stress, deprivation, frustration or other problems directly related to phone calls to or from the DOC, or to the elevated charges, Send your story to Kay Lee,