Inmates of Saskatchewan provincial jail in Canada were allowed free local calls as well free calls to their lawyers. Inmates used to pay only for the cost of long distance calls. The calls were not recorded and the system was abused by the inmates. In order to avoid this authorities decided to record the call conversations. In order to fund the cost of recording the authorities decide to start charging the inmates for local calls. The following rates were fixed for all call beginning of June 14 2010:
The Ministry of Corrections Public Safety and Policing is implementing a new phone system at all four of the province's adult jails to address security concerns in the wake of a breakout at the Regina Correctional Centre almost two years ago.
- Local calls will cost $1.35, if pre-paid, and $1.85, for collect. These rates are more than three times the cost of a normal pay phone.
- The long-distance calling will cost, at $1 (pre-paid) or $1.50 (collect) per call, plus a toll charge of 30 cents a minute, and a 45-cent "bill rendering fee" on collect calls.
- Local and long-distance calls to "privileged" numbers, for example to lawyers or the Ombudsman, will remain free of charge.
- In addition, remanded inmates -- those held in custody while awaiting the outcome of their charges -- will be allowed three free calls per day up to 20 minutes each.
The new "user-pay" telephone system is being installed in response to a report that examined the August 2008 escape and recommended better monitoring of inmates including their phone calls.
Calls were monitored sporadically in the past if there was some suspicion of illegal activity, but often that was difficult to determine. All calls except those deemed to be privileged, for example to lawyers or parole officers, will be recorded.
Corrections staff won't be able to listen to all of those messages unless there is probable cause that the inmate is involved in illegal activity. Security staff will be required to the jail director’s permission to listen to a recorded conversation
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Learn more about Inmate Telephone Service, the Inmate Telephone System, and Inmate Telephone Service Providers