Telephone Calls in the Federal Prison Camp

Telephone calls are one way, which means that only inmates can call out of the federal prison camp to family members and others. The numbers and persons an inmate calls all have to be approved by the BOP and there is a limited number that can be on the list.

Phone calls are also considered a privilege and there are times when those privileges are taken away as a form of disciplinary actions toward one inmate or the entire prison camp population.

Inmates are given 300 minutes each a month and 400 minutes during the holidays (November and December) to call with so inmates have to budget their calls to last all month. Each call that is made is timed and limited to 15 minutes for the basic reason that other inmates want to make calls also and there are only a few phones to use. When the 15 minutes are up there is a waiting period of 15 minutes to an hour before making the next call.

These phone calls are not free but at the inmate’s expense. Every inmate is given a pin number which is also linked to their commissary account where they can transfer funds from commissary to their phone account. In 2004 calls were around .32 cents a minute but they were constantly increasing. If an inmate did not have sufficient funds, the prison camp staff would allow phone calls to be made on a BOP office phone in their presents but this was for emergency reasons only and on rare occasions.

All phone calls are monitored and there are signs posted next to each phone explaining that very fact. There have been inmates who were handcuffed and taken out of the camp within minutes of saying the wrong thing, therefore be very discrete with the choice of words and instruct the person you are speaking to also be discrete.


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