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Harris County Jail Telephones, Texas

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Telephones

Interview with Julie, Inmate's Sister, Houston, Claire, Jim, Smyth, Ken, Charlene, Greg, GMan, Jamie, Leisha, Toby, Lisa, Consuela, John, Tiffany, Tom, nogboy, Rachel, Ralph, Chris, Sandy, Ginger, Craig and Lesley

JM: Did you have regular access to telephones?
Julie: yes i did
Inmate's Sister: no only in the county jail 1 time
Houston: Yes
Claire: Yes, there were three telephones in our pod to which we had access from about 9 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m.
Jim: Yes telephones are in each cell house and you have to call collect which is very expensive
Smyth: NEVER
Ken: Yes
Charlene: YES
Greg: yes I did.
GMan: Rarely...others were always in line trying to use the phone.
Jamie: -------yes
Leisha: no,they need to get phone cards ,because it's very hard to make phone calls
Toby: yes but it's a pay phone real expensive to use.
Lisa: No
Consuela: Sometimes. When other inmates would mess it up for everyone in the day room the officers would punish all of us by taking our phone privilages away. We couldn't even call our attorneys.
John: The holding tanks had three phones each, but only one had a 'headset', the others just had a speaker. I had to cram my ear against the speaker to hear anything, and even then it was difficult. There was always a line to use the phone with a headset.
Tiffany: Yes, but they were difficult to use so I just waited.
Tom: Yes
nogboy: there were 4 phones for use in the pod
Rachel: Yes
Ralph: There were two phones in the pod, but using them was a real pain. It was difficult to get a call through, it was always too noisy to hear anything. I only used the phone when I first got there, trying to get a lawyer. Once I had a lawyer I had no more need for that messed up phone situation.
Chris: yes i had regular access to telephones.
Sandy: Yes, but you are only able to make collect calls and most people only have a cell phone and you have to have a home phone in order to accept a call
Ginger: Telephone access was from 10 am to 10 pm.
Craig: YOU can use the phones when ever you were not locked up in your cell . You had to dial collect to call someone at home.
Lesley: yes but only the ability to call the one person that had set it up for me

JM: What types of charges applied for calling people? How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Julie: I honestly did not get charged i called my hose several times getting things straight for my bail never recieved the charges
Inmate's Sister: collect call
Houston: Not sure
Claire: All calls made from the pods were collect calls. The receiving party was charged $3.25/call.
Jim: Approx 25 dollars for a 15 minute call
Smyth: Nonexistent at Pam Lynchner State Jail
Ken: Calls were collect.
Charlene: I don't know
Greg: 1800 collect,.
GMan: They were required to pay...it was a collect call.
Jamie: ---------------
Leisha: to much money for one phone call
Toby: i think it starts like at 3 something a minute then it goes to 5 dollars so it's real expensive.
Lisa: Local payphone
Consuela: $4.00 or $5.00 a call depending where you call. And the phone call only lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
John: Not sure - I only made a few calls, and no one asked me to reimburse them, so I guess it wasn't outrageous.
Tom: Not sure what the charges were.
nogboy: 10 dollars for 8 min
Rachel: Collect calls only billed to the reciever.
Chris: i am not sure how much the calls cost because i did not make any calls . i would guess that the average inmate spends about fifty dollars a week on calls.
Sandy: You have to have a home phone. I would say that at least $50-$60 is spent on phone calls
Ginger: Charges were very expensive if you called a lot becuase the only way you could call was collect. The average person would probably spend at least 20-30 a week.
Craig: You had to call collect to call people at home. Phone cards help, also family can open am account with the phone company and pay that way too.
Lesley: i know mine averaged almost one hundred dollars a month and that was only calling one person

JM: Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Julie: no i just called collect
Inmate's Sister: couldnt didnt get phone calls
Houston: No
Claire: Phone cards were not sold there.
Jim: no
Smyth: CANNOT
Ken: Yes, if they were available
Charlene: I couldn't
Greg: yes.
GMan: No
Jamie: yes
Leisha: harris county don't have any
Toby: no
Lisa: No
Consuela: NO
John: No
Tom: Not available. The person you were calling had to have an account set up with a 3rd party provider to accept calls.
Rachel: no
Chris: no i believe all calls are collect.
Sandy: yes if you wanted to have access to phone calls
Ginger: We didn't have cards, you just called collect.
Craig: No, you did not have to buy cards. You had to call collect when calling home.
Lesley: i personally did not need roo

JM: Did the jail screen your calls?
Julie: NOt that i know of
Inmate's Sister: yes always
Houston: Im sure
Claire: I was never aware of this, but I heard rumors.
Jim: yes they record all calls
Smyth: NEVER GOT A CALL
Ken: I don't know, don't think so.
Charlene: no
Greg: I assume, they would in case you say anything but that isn't a reason that makes it right to do so.
GMan: I have no idea...I think it's safe to assume that they did.
Jamie: yes
Leisha: yes
Toby: yes
Lisa: Yes
Consuela: Yes and if you was on the phone talking about calling other people the phone would play a message that says something like you can't make three way calls and then it will hang up on you.
John: I would think so
Tom: I assume they did.
nogboy: calls are recorded
Rachel: Yes all were recorded
Chris: yes the jail monitors and records the calls.
Sandy: yes they record everthing You were not able to have privacy
Ginger: There is a message that says that they record all calls.
Craig: There was a recording on there that said that they recorded calls etc.
Lesley: i do not believe so not that i could tell

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

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