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Interview with Zach

JM: Did you have regular access to telephones?
Zach: There were phones in each bloc, but sometimes their were long lines to get on them. Families would get home at certain times, so everyone would want to use the phones at the same time. Some guys would hang up after their thirty minutes and call someone else, which would casue all kinds of problems with the other people in line.

JM: What types of charges applied for calling people? How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Zach: It was one dollar to make a local for thirty minutes. I never called anyone long distance so I don't know what those chrges could have been. However, when I was in prison, it was six dollers to call Cleveland form Lima for fifeteen minutes. Calling out of state was double that and many persons lost contact with their family because of this.

JM: Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Zach: You would just call your people collect and hoped they would except the charges. This made it impossible to talk to your lawyer becasue three ways were not allowed. I don't think phone cards were even an option, even in prison. mostly because they could be used for currency for gambling, buying sex or whatever else.

JM: Did the jail screen your calls?
Zach: You could talk on the phone for a half hour at time for local calls. The jail would screen your calls and many people got busted planning things or informing friends where drugs were hidden or to bring them in. They didn't hover over you or anyhting, but you knew they could be listening. You would have to wait your turn with the phone though, because there was only two in each bloc for forty or more inmates.

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

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