New video explains jail telephone industry’s hidden fees

One company produces a video explaining to Sheriffs how the status quo is bad for them.

by Peter Wagner, November 25, 2014

NCIC, one of the smaller companies in the prison and jail telephone industry, has made a two minute video that explains how some players in the industry cheat families, the jails, and state regulators by charging the families hidden fees and then quietly pocketing that money.

The perspective of the video is different than a lot of what we post on this blog; it comes from a more-ethical company speaking directly to jails about how the the current system isn’t as good for the jails as they have been led to believe.

For more on hidden fees and other nasty tricks that hurt families without bringing in a dime for the facilities (like Text-To-Collect and other “single-call” programs) see our 2013 report Please Deposit All of Your Money: Kickbacks, Rates and Hidden Fees in the Jail Phone Industry.

Peter Wagner is Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative. (Other articles | Full bio | Contact)

2 responses:

  1. When I was in prison I only made a couple dollars a day by working in the prison. Unfortunately the cost of telephone calls was over my daily pay for the first minute and not much cheaper for each additional minute. Part of the fees we paid were sent back to the Department of Corrections to support our incarceration. It seemed that the state sought the company that would pay them the most and ordered their phone service from them.

  2. NCIC says:

    Thanks for sharing our video. Hopefully, this will make the jails take a closer look at what their providers are charging to their families. Unfortunately, managing inmate phone calls is only part of the jail staff’s job, so they often are not aware of what their inmate provider is charging to the families. The FCC has definitely brought a lot of attention to the rates / hidden fees that are charged and soon, I think, will have some rules in place that will eliminate these abuses!

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