Jail and Prison Phone Service

Phone Charges In Jails and Prisons

  • Overview of Prison Phone Contracts, American Friends Service Committee
  • Rate caps for calls from prisons and jails
    The FCC's most recent action occurred on August 4, 2016, when it set new rate caps for local and long-distance inmate calling. The new rate caps were scheduled to take effect for prisons on Dec. 12, 2016, and for jails on March 13, 2017. However, those rates were stayed by a court order, pending judicial review. As a result, the FCC's interim rate caps remain in effect. The interim rate caps apply only to interstate long-distance calls, not in-state long distance or local calls. Those rates are 21 cents a minute for debit/prepaid calls, and 25 cents a minute for collect calls. [The FCC's proposed new rate cap would lower the 19-cent per minute in-state rate cap to 14 cents.]
  • Inmate Services at Lehigh County Jail (including GTL phone service).
  • Phone Rates for Lehigh County Jail: According to Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, "phone rates the inmates pay have stayed the same - between 25 cents and 21 cents for interstate calls and 19 cents for local calls. (Morning Call: March 8, 2020)

    But for Pennsylvania state prisons, the cost of a 15-minute in-state call is $0.89, which is just under 6 cents per minute. (See Prison Policy Initiative and Prison Phone Justice.)

    However, both Securus (PA state prisons) and GTL (local jails) can charge fees for "services" related to the call, such as fees to open an account, have an account, fund an account, close an account, get a refund, receive a paper bill, etc.; and neither company posts its rates in public.

  • Prison Phone Contract Letter from Lehigh County Auditor Mark Pinsley (March 5, 2020)

Morning Call - Commentary on Jail Phone Rates

Impact of High Phone Rates on Families

Prison Phone Companies