Prison Pete

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
  Telephone Procedures.
You asked about phone calls. I thought I had explained the system.

The way it works is we can only make collect calls via MCI. Only outgoing calls, no incoming calls. The cost is a $3.00 initial charge and 16¢ each additional minute. The maximum length of any one call is thirty minutes, but there is no limit to the number of calls one can make.

MCI will not place collect calls to certain phone systems. This is due to the federal law that prevents a person’s phone being turned off if they owe money to someone other than their local provider.

I was automatically barred when I tried to call Bobbielou, and I am unable to call your cell phone. I think we are not supposed to call cell phones anyhow but do not see how they can enforce that now that lots of people only have cell phones.

The last time we talked was over two years ago when I was in the County jail. Even though I had to make the call collect, somehow it did go through to your cell. While I need to add all phone numbers to a list of approved numbers, there is not any real checking that goes on.

I think we are limited to thirty numbers total. At this point the only numbers on my list are Mom and Dad, Bobbielou and you. The last two are currently blocked so I get to call only Mom and Dad and do not do that too often as they seem to be outraged at the cost.

The last time I called, Dad first hit 9 for the cost of the call as opposed to 3 to accept. After the message played through it says press 3 to accept or 9 to hear the charges. All Dad hears is press 9 so he press it again and hears the recording a second time.

After it finishes playing he manages to hit the 3, and we finally get connected. The first words out of his mouth before hello are "Boy 60¢ a minute that is rich!" I explained it was 16¢ not 60¢ and he mumbles something about his hearing not being so good.

So there you have the phone deal.

So if someone wanted to talk to a live NY State prisoner they would have to be able to accept MCI collect charges and pay the freight. Again it is an initial $3.00 connect charge and 16¢ a minute. All calls are subject to monitoring. At least in most cases I can send out letters that are not read by staff members.

I do not know what is up with the whole interview thing but I would need to send out letters to you, as any business mail has to be left open for inspection. While I think letters mailed directly to an editor of a news source are treated differently, sending out such a letter would certainly raise a warning flag. The only way I would be able to be completely candid would be to remain anonymous.
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