Listen carefully to the automated instructions just prior to accepting the call. It will tell you which button to push on your phone to block calls.
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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.
[UPDATE} Detainees are now allowed to buy phone cards through the commissary. This permits them to make prepaid phone calls. It takes at least a week for them to order the phone cards and they must have money on their commissary account. To put money on their commissary account see: http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/faq/faq_InmateTrustAccount.html
How does a detainee make a phone call?
Can they use a cell phone?
Can they call a cell phone?
Can they call long distance?
How much do phone calls costs”
Can I call the detainee?If you want detainee to be able to call your cell phone, you have to call Correctional Billing at 800-844-6591. Then you can prepay for the collect calls to your cell phone and the inmate can call a cell phone or land line. Otherwise the inmate can ONLY call a land line collect.This is a racket where a private company has a deal with the jail to manage phone calls and by doing so they make a very big profit at your expense.There are collect call ONLY phones on every unit where the detainee can call when he/she is out of the cell. There may be one phone for 50 people so phone calls are short and not always easy to make. Inmates are locked in their cells generally from 10 pm to 9 am (they get breakfast at 4-5 am but cannot make calls), and from around 1 pm to 4 pm. The times may vary. Some units especially if crowded let people out in shifts and they are locked up for longer periods. On the mental health unit, the phone calls are more limited and never allowed in the morning. On the TB unit there is a collect phone in every cell, but the inmates are confined to the cells 24/7.The detainee can ONLY call a LAND LINE and NOT cell phone if you do not make arrangements to prepay the collect call to your cell phone by contacting Correctional Billing at the number above or at their web site here.