JACKSON – The cost of inmate phone calls is now less than 4 cents per minute at all state-operated facilities and will soon be the same at the three private prisons in Mississippi.
The call rate is dropping from 11 cents per minute to .039 per minute under a new agreement with Global Tel*Link (GTL) Corp.
"The reduced rate will make services even more accessible and affordable for inmates’ families and loved ones," Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. "Family members will be able to stay in touch with their loved ones without worrying about the cost. We realize that family contact is very important for rehabilitation."
The MDOC last dropped rates in March 2016 when the FCC mandated lower rates per minute for calls in prison systems.
From March 2016 to January this year, inmates made 3,599,018 calls and talked for 37,028,605 minutes at state-operated facilities, including the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, and South Mississippi Correctional Institution. In January alone, 188,764 calls were made.
At the three private prisons (East Mississippi Correctional Facility, Marshall County Correctional Facility, and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility), 728,275 calls were accepted and inmates talked for 3,052,539 minutes from March 2016 to present.
In addition to the reduced phone rate, the new contract calls for equipment and technology to aid the department’s efforts to control contraband cellphones inside prison walls.