Comments about ‘Inmates charged in phone fraud scam’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 7:45 p.m. MST

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Karl Hegbloom
Salt Lake City, UT

Many "inmates" are being held pre-trial, and have not been convicted of a crime. Even for those who are actually guilty of wrongdoing, it's unfair and unjust to make them pay so much money for a phone call to their loved ones. If it did not cost so much, they would not have tried to find a way around having to pay the outrageous fees to those racketeers who run the jail phone systems.

I think the jails should drop the contract with those telephone providers, and install a modern VOIP PBX system based on Asterisk (find out about it via an on-line search). To make a call, the prisoner would enter their jail inmate number, a PIN, and the number they wish to call. Each prisoner should be allowed a certain amount of gratuit telephone time, as a basic right and civil courtesy.

It would be much easier to keep recordings of calls cross referenced with the inmate who made the call, for those rare cases where a complaint is made about telephone harassment. It would also facilitate blocking calls to no-contact numbers, such as the alleged victim's.

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