How much will the detainee’s collect call to me cost me?
If you accept a collect call from the jail on your home land telephone line or if you set up a prepaid collect call service to a cell phone, etc. you can use the following link to calculate the cost of the phone call.
Go to the web site for Correctional Billing Services here and plug in your phone number and the number 15 for minutes. Phone calls are limited to 15 minutes. You can put in ANY Cook County Jail Division if you don’t know which division in which your family member is housed as the rates should be the same for all divisions.
The cost is $2.71 connection charge plus 12-15cents for the first minute and 11-14 cents for each additional minute for a total of about $4.89 for a 15 minute phone call from the Chicago area to the jail. Long distance of course is more expensive.
About a third of the time is wasted with automatic messages telling you this is a call from the jail and don’t let yourself be used to forward calls for an inmate lying about emergencies, etc.
There are hidden additional costs including:
$2.49 added to your phone bill per month for a “bill statement fee”.
$6.95 charge if you pay your bill by Western Union, or with a credit or debit card.
There is no fee if you pay the bill by mailing a check or money order to them or if you pay on-line using direct payment from your checking or savings account.
Out-of-State calls have added an additional $2.99 for out of state calling.
I do NOT guarantee these rates. This is just how I, who am NOT an expert at this am interpreting what the company is stating on their web site here.