Collect Calls from Prison Inmates

When accepting collect calls from prisons, please be aware that an inmate is not able to access his or her preferred long distance telephone company from an "inmate only" telephone. Circumstances such as restrictions on the number of calls an inmate may make, call duration and calling hours may influence rates for these collect calls.

When an inmate makes an interstate (between different states), domestic interexchange telephone call, an inmate operator service provider must identify itself to the receiving party AND tell them how they can get rate quotations before connecting the call. The service provider must also allow the party to stop the call at no charge before the call is connected.

The PUC does NOT have jurisdiction or authority over the carrier selected by the correctional facility to provide telephone service, service contracts, length of calls, call monitoring, quality of calls or rates. For disputes about these issues contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at (800) 225-5322 or the PA Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 441-2555.

Can the PUC investigate disputed charges billed to the customer of record that result from collect calls made to the customer’s telephone number from a correctional facility?

Yes - however, the PUC can only work toward having the disputed charges “removed” from the customer’s local bill. The PUC but does NOT have the authority to determine the validity of the charges or the liability of the charges.