Cost of Jail House Phone Calls Increasing

The cost of telephone calls from Michigan’s prisons will increase from 10 and 12 cents per minute to 18 to 20 cents per minute under a contract with a new company, the state said.

The contract with Alabama-based Public Commutations Services will allow the prisons to maintain a relatively inexpensive phone system while paying for technology upgrades and better security, said John Cordell, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

“This rate is still very good,” Cordell told the Jackson Citizen Patriot for a story published Sunday. “We understand there is a great cost burden for families.”

The corrections department had previously contracted with another company and that contract expired in 2009. The company agreed to continue serving Michigan’s prisons until a new company was found. The new system will be phased in throughout the month.

Robert Avery, of Jackson, whose 31-year-old son Aaron Avery is serving five to 15 years in prison at Pugsley Correctional Facility near Traverse City, said it will cost him 20 cents a minute instead of 12 cents a minute. They typically talk on the phone at least five times a week.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Robert Avery said. “I’m retired, and I’m on a pension, but I’ll do what I have to to keep the phones open.”

Under the contract, users pay for service through PCS. The contract doesn’t generate a profit for the Michigan prison system, Cordell said. The rate increase is expected to go toward providing more phones in prisons and upgrading existing technology.

View this story from the Detroit Free Press here

If you have a question about a criminal charge contact Dan Ambrose at (248) 624-5500

Ambrose Law Group



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