Everyone has heard about Google and its incredible inventions. Some of them can be used in the prison phone industry as well. You can find a lot of rumors about the “free Google Voice phone number for inmates” on the Internet. It supposed to give the ability to call inmates for free. Let’s take a look at Google Voices and find out the truth about this statement.
Google Voice allows you to register for free and choose any number you want. Then, the system forwards calls on Google Voice number to an existing number (your number) that can be both a cell phone and a landline. Many people who were looking for cheap inmate calls were trying to “catch” the number with the same area code as the facility.
It sounds great, isn’t it? Well, you would like to find out what happens in real life.
Correctional institutions (prisons, jails or halfway houses) typically have specialized, restricted telephone systems used by their inmates, to call family members, friends, etc. These institutions each have phone calling regulations and rules designed to allow inmates to call permitted phone numbers of family members, friends, under certain conditions controlled by the institution.
In most cases, the cost of these calls is paid by the inmate’s family, out of a commissary or telephone calling account, or the inmate must make collect calls. Some inmates’ family members and friends have tried to use Google Voice phone numbers located near the institution, to reduce inmate calling costs.
Your inmate’s ability to make calls from the correctional institution is controlled by the institution and their calling rules. The county jail or their phone system might block the inmate from calling your Google number. Google itself doesn’t block anyone from calling you, but it is impossible to receive collect calls there.
“Note that Federal and most state prisons prohibit, detect and block inmate phone calls made to forwarded phone numbers, to prevent abusive calls or illegal activity by inmates. Google Voice uses call-forwarding to reach your phone. Violation of these prison regulations can result in loss of inmate calling privileges. Be smart. Don’t do it.”
Now it sounds bad, I think. But don’t worry, in most cases, it just won’t work.
So, what to do? Is there any other way to avoid expensive rates of the prison phone providers? It is.
PrisonConnect is safer than Google Voice and costs only $4.99/month.
PrisonConnect gives number local to the facility. However, PrisonConnect can’t be blocked. It is illegal because Prison Connect is a registered Telephone Company that is FCC regulated.
Any attempt to block the PrisonConnect Number is prohibited by the FCC and violates FCC regulations and rules
With PrisonConnect you are talking at local rates, so the phone provider won’t be able to charge you at high long-distance rates. You need to send the PrisonConnect number to your inmate and ask him to add this number to his/her list of approved phone numbers. Then, he or she should dial this number, and the call will be redirected to your cell phone.