Rates to Remain High as State Seeks More of Inmate Call Money

NOVEMBER 22, 2006 - Posted at 4:16 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State prison officials say they are seeking a bigger portion of the money generated from inmate phone calls.

Inmates can't receive incoming calls.  The collect calls include a minimum of a $3 connection fee and rate of 24 cents per minute.  Those rates will remain under the new contract, despite pressure from some inmate advocates to charge less.

Inmates spend about $4 million on phone calls each year.  Under the new contract with Mobile, Alabama-based Global Tel-Link Corporation, the state will get about $2.1 million.  The move ends a 14-year relationship with MCI.

A prisons spokeswoman says the money goes toward the $100 inmates get when they are released and for other inmate needs.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)