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Interview with Charles, m ray, Leon, Jean, Accountant, Hot attorney, Lil Will, Cam, big boi, Claire, Walt, Carl, Ed, Devin, Mitch and Ronaldo

JM: Did you have regular access to telephones?
Charles: The phones are collect only, they are on from 8am to 10pm daily. Free phones are available in the bookin area at central intake. free phones may only be used when you are in the bookin process.
m ray: yes collect calls only
Leon: Yes there were pay phones in the tanks.
Jean: Yeah, we did in our cells. Every day you could use the phone. If you could make a collect phone call, you could make a phone call 24 hours a day. actually, that's not true. They turn the phones off at 10, and turn them back on at 8 in the morning. You have access to a collect call only, and those phone calls are $7.55 per minute. Your friends and family can run up a few thousand dollar phone call really quick, so be fast when you call them.

Everyone that was in there. My biggest group was when I was in the infirmary. There were 25 women sharing one phone. Not everyone would call all the time - some people would call their boyfriend every night, and some would call their moms. How ever many people were on the floors (or cells, as I called it), there's nine girls or 25 to a phone. In the big areas with 60 girls, there might be two phones.
Accountant: Yes for local calls only.
Hot attorney: Only pay phones and they only work during certain times of the day.
Lil Will: Yes but they are regular rip off collect phones
Cam: From 8 a.m. to 11p.m most phones are available..However, there are some inmates that hog the phone and do not allow others to use them..This normally causes fights and riots in the tank..Ive seen it many times..
big boi: 8 am - 10 pm
Claire: yes,phione are mounted in each tank
Walt: You recieved an inmate number on your armband supposedly this was your phone access number but mine didnt work or was input wrong on there end I found out that was a rare occurance I only saw it happen to 1 other guy while I was in there, and yes there were plenty of phones if you had an access code. Calls were $3 a call for 15 min.
Carl: yes anytime i needed a phone most of the time i could use one
Ed: yes they are collect call phones that cost about 15 dollars a call it is crazy
Devin: Yes but time was limited and some of them wasted calls.
Mitch: yes however the calls were expensive. A minimum of 25.00 dollars for about 3 fifteen minute calls
Ronaldo: Yes we did have regular access to telephones.

JM: What types of charges applied for calling people? How much money would you guess the average inmate spends per week on phone calls?
Charles: If calling local they are about 5 too 7 dollars a call.
m ray: its really expensive
Leon: Not sure I didn't use them.
Jean: As mentioned above the calls were $7.55 per minute - ridiculous.

When you call it gives them the chance to accept it or not. So you can't call your employer and tell them you're feeling sick - it tells them where you're calling from.

Sometimes you can call cell phone - it's kind of weird. It depends on what kind of cell phone they have. If you have one like my husband has, well, first he had one of those pay per use kind, like the Virgin mobile, it just cost him ten cents a minute because they had no way of billing him. It worked for a long time, but then they called him and it wouldn't anymore. His partner's phone is Cingular, and it accepts collect calls, but a lot of phones won't, and there's not anything you can do. You can't make your phone take collect calls. It's whether your carrier will let you take collect calls or not.

Don't be fooled, though - even though the calls are expensive, you will still have a lot of competition for the phones. I don't know what the general rule is, but it seems to me that any black person that's in jail is always going to have groceries, they're always going to have money, and they're always going to be able to make phone calls. They've got something going on out there that us white people don't know about. That's all I can say about that. I don't mean that to be prejudice, but I just know that an average family could not afford what they've got.
Accountant: While in there, I made about twenty calls to a relative, and once out, I paid a phone bill in the amount of $70
Hot attorney: Regular collect call fees.
Cam: If I'm not mistaken there was a $3.95 fee for called collect from the jail..
Claire: it cost approx.3.26 a call for 15 min I would use about 40-50 a week on calls
Walt: I would say $25 a week on average. I would have spent that easy if my code would have worked.
Carl: It is about 10.00 a call from what i remember and most inmates tried not to call to avoid the charges. I would say about 20.00 a week per inmate.
Ed: like me I could only call my parents once a month because it cost 15 dollars a call most people don't use the phone because it cost so much
Devin: They charged for connecting the calls. It was collect. It was very expensive and the average inmate migt go through around $40 a week.
Mitch: Let's see. if you call 3 or 4 times a week at about 25.00 dollars per day you are looking at 75.00 dollars a week 150.00 a month.
Ronaldo: Honestly i didn't need to make any phone calls out so again I really wouldn't know.

JM: Did you need to buy phone cards to call out?
Charles: Phone calls are not available to the inmates. The dallas county jail uses At&t collect call system. Collect time may be bought and added to any phone number by calling At&t. That allows inmates to call even cell phones collect. I think it also give you a little discount for each call.
m ray: no
Leon: No.
Jean: No, you couldn't use phone cards.
Accountant: Buying things wasn't an option........they take away all freedom/rights.
Cam: No..
big boi: no
Claire: yes or family would prepay thru vconnect
Walt: No your family could put money on your phone via internet or by calling a number. Or I believe you could add money to your phone account off your own books if you had money.
Carl: yes i did need to buy phone cards to call out
Ed: when I was there it was collect calls only
Devin: No. You could either add funds to your debit account or your family could add funds to their phone number.
Mitch: No your family has to add money to their phones.
Ronaldo: I did see other inmates having phone cards so I would say yes.

JM: Did the jail screen your calls?
Charles: The recorded message advised they could be recorded.
m ray: yes
Leon: Not sure but probably recorded.
Jean: The jail didn't screen the calls. Well, actually, they may have. They could have from some other source, but it's just a pay telephone. On every floor, wherever there's a populated area, there are phones. You have no access to a phone book either.
Accountant: Possibly.
Hot attorney: Probably.
Cam: Yes..
big boi: i dont know
Claire: yes all the time;mandatory by law
Walt: Not that I know off.
Carl: yes all jail calls are screened the whole conversation
Ed: yes they record all calls
Devin: Yes they said calls may be recorded.
Mitch: I assume that all calls were recorded.
Ronaldo: No. The jail didn't screen my calls.

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

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