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Hillsborough County Jail Telephones, Florida

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Telephones

Interview with Aaron, Jessica, Walter, Margaret and Sherry

JM: Did you have regular access to telephones?
Aaron: Yes, I had regular access to the 6 telephones they had there for us to use. There were only a few times that all the phones were being used when I needed to use one. We could use the phones as long as no one was eating their meals or if it was too early in the morning we didn't use the phone unless there was an emergency so that everone would be shown respect while they were sleeping.
Jessica: Phones were available in the central area.
Walter: yes, but no collect calls go out form Hillsborough County jails. They say you can, but you really can only for a "complimentary" one minute phone call. After that you must set up a prepaid phone account
Margaret: YES, THEY HAD LIKE 8 PHONES IN THERE
Sherry: Sometimes, if we were good.

JM: What types of charges applied for calling people? How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Aaron: There was a one time charge that each of my family members had to pay to be eligible to accept collect calls from the phone that I was using. It was basically $2.00 per call no matter how long you talked to them.
Jessica: You needed to buy phone cards from the money in your account to call out.
Walter: $2 connection fee +30 cents a minute if it's long distance $2-$5 for your average inmate, but many don't use the phone at all, and some spend upwards of $20 on the phone in a day
Margaret: THE AVERAGE INMATE I WOULD GUESS SPENT ABOUT 20- 25 A WEEK ON PHONE CALLS, BECAUSE IT WAS ON CALLING CARDS
Sherry: I believe it was $2.00 for 1 minute, I would say $10.00 a week on average.

JM: Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Aaron: They had phone cards that you could purchase but I didn't make many calls (maybe 1-2 calls per day) so I didn't need to buy one. I saw it as just another way the jail was trying to rip us off.
Jessica: Yes.
Walter: Not phone cards, but you have to set up a pre- paid account with the company(Inmate Calling Solutions) that runs the jails phone
Margaret: YES, THEY SOLD PHONE CALLS ON COMMISSARY.
Sherry: Not anymore, you get an account.

JM: Did the jail screen your calls?
Aaron: Yes, they were always listening in to our calls so I was told by the public defender to never discuss anything about my case over the phone.
Jessica: I believe so. I never talked about the case on the phone, just about how I was doing.
Walter: Not screening, but monitoring. They listen and record ALL phone calls
Margaret: YES THEY DID SCREEN YOUR PHONE CALLS
Sherry: Yes a recording would tell you.

Read about how inmates pass the time in the Hillsborough County Jail

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