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Pierce County Jail Telephones, Washington

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Telephones

Interview with Ryan, Alex, George, Diana and Maria

JM: Did you have regular access to telephones?
Ryan: YES
Alex: Yes WHEN THEY WERE WORKING. They didn't seem to be in a rush to fix them if they weren't. There are 6 telephones per tier and at any given time, only about half were in working condition. With 42 men on a tier and a 20 minute time limit per call, it was sometimes a full day before you could make a call. Better hope someone's there to answer.
George: YES
Diana: Yes I had regular access to phobe
Maria: Yes. We had regular access to the phones.

JM: What types of charges applied for calling people? How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Ryan: COLLECT CALLS ONLY
Alex: It was $3.95 plus .20 per minute. I ran up a $800 phone bill.
George: COLLECT
Diana: I guess you would send like 30 dollars a week depending on how much you talk
Maria: Well, they were all collect calls, and I had promised my mom that I wouldn 't run up her bill. Some people were spending fifty dollars a week and up!

JM: Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Ryan: NO
Alex: No phone cards were available.
George: NO
Diana: Yes you must buy phone cards
Maria: No, back in those days, they didn't have all of that.

JM: Did the jail screen your calls?
Ryan: YES
Alex: YES. No, there wasn't a guard actually there but when you place your call, an automated voice tells you that all calls are recorded and screened.
George: YES
Diana: Yes the jail screens calls
Maria: I don't really know. Probably.

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

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