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Old 08-09-2018, 07:22 AM
Beachymom Beachymom is offline
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Default How do I get set up for federal phone calls

Ive searched and am so confused. Asking for any help on how to receive phone calls from FCI Petersburg. I had securus when he was in holding but I guess that doesnt work on Federal. I did send money via MoneyGram for commissary but for the phone I have Verizon cell phones and no land line. Also have a different area code from where he is. Any help would be greatly appreciated,
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:35 AM
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He has to add you to his phone list. Once approved, he then has to have minutes & the funds to call. Federal inmates are allowed 300 minutes per month and must pay for the calls.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:18 AM
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You don't have to do anything to receive his phone calls unless he is calling you collect, then your phone has to be able to accept collect calls. If he just arrived at Petersburg and if he was placed in a housing unit (if no beds are available, he will stay in the SHU until one is) it may still take a few days before he can call you. He has to be set up on the prison's inmate phone system by giving his counselor a list of all of the numbers he will be allowed to call. He then must wait for his 9 digit phone pin to arrive in the mail, and probably also have to be set up on "voice recognition". When all of that happens, he can prepay calls by transferring money from his commissary account to his ITS phone account using the phone and his pin number. Calls to your phone will cost 21 cents/min, or 25 cents/min if he calls you collect.

You are correct that securus doesn't work in federal prison.

If you want to use email, he has to send you an invitation message that you must reply to, so be sure to check your spam too. He will be charged 5 cents/min whenever he is logged in to either read or write messages.

He has a maximum limit of 300 phone minutes/month with an extra 100 in Nov. & Dec. His monthly limit will roll over to the next month on the same date (commissary spending limit too), the fifth number in his inmate ID# (xxxxX-xxx), times 3, plus one; so if his number is 8, he will receive new limits, with no carryover of unused limits, on the 25th of each month.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:14 PM
Melodi24 Melodi24 is offline
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Also regarding the cell phone, I really didn't want to change my # so I went and got a cheapy flip phone and the cheapest unlimited talk plan. When I activated the phone it asked what zipcode the phone would be used in. I put in the zipcode for the prison now mine & my son's calls are WAY cheaper.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:38 PM
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If your phone has a local number to the prison, calls are 6 cents/min instead of 21 cents/min. Having a cell phone with a local number is acceptable to the bop. The problem arises when folks use "call forwarding programs", like google voice.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:33 PM
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Having a local number to call is a huge savings. My husband calls me via a local area code and the calls are only $.90 each. There is no need these days to have anyone call collect.

The annoyance for the caller by the way, is the voice recognition software sucks, so sometimes it takes numerous attempts to get through. You do need to make sure he has you phone number in order to call you, and with that he needs and address to have it inputted. I believe my husband SS on a Tuesday and wasn't all set up with the phone until Thursday.

Beware that unused phone minutes do not roll over. So if you only use 250 minutes one month, you don't get 350 the next month. You also never know when you are out of minutes. It's like a prepaid calling card, you put phone charges on increments of $20 I believe (maybe you can do it in $10, but mine does it in $20). He only knows when he's out of money, not based on his usage. It's a terrible system because it would be nice to know how many minutes he has left. Fortunately, we have never used the full 300 minutes in a month. We talk every other day, on occasion we have talked twice/day and a few times depending on certain issues we have had to talk daily. But, we realize that if we use all the minutes up and then really need to speak about something urgent, it would not be feasible to try to do it via email. Email is great in general though and we do email constantly, but again, you can talk a lot quicker than you can write and get a lot more said during that time.

Email and Phone also do not count towards your monthly commissary limits, which is nice.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:32 PM
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Thank you all so much! I feel like this is a second job learning all of this. It is very different from state, that’s for sure.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
You don't have to do anything to receive his phone calls unless he is calling you collect, then your phone has to be able to accept collect calls. If he just arrived at Petersburg and if he was placed in a housing unit (if no beds are available, he will stay in the SHU until one is) it may still take a few days before he can call you. He has to be set up on the prison's inmate phone system by giving his counselor a list of all of the numbers he will be allowed to call. He then must wait for his 9 digit phone pin to arrive in the mail, and probably also have to be set up on "voice recognition". When all of that happens, he can prepay calls by transferring money from his commissary account to his ITS phone account using the phone and his pin number. Calls to your phone will cost 21 cents/min, or 25 cents/min if he calls you collect.

You are correct that securus doesn't work in federal prison.

If you want to use email, he has to send you an invitation message that you must reply to, so be sure to check your spam too. He will be charged 5 cents/min whenever he is logged in to either read or write messages.

He has a maximum limit of 300 phone minutes/month with an extra 100 in Nov. & Dec. His monthly limit will roll over to the next month on the same date (commissary spending limit too), the fifth number in his inmate ID# (xxxxX-xxx), times 3, plus one; so if his number is 8, he will receive new limits, with no carryover of unused limits, on the 25th of each month.
Ok just so I make sure Im understanding the dates correctly...his fifth digit is 0
So 0x3 is 0 plus 1
So does he get commissary and new phone minutes on the 1st of each month?
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:25 AM
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Yes on the first. It used to be that everyone's limits rolled over on the first of each month, and the lines at the phones & commissary were horrible. This is one change that actually helped.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
Yes on the first. It used to be that everyone's limits rolled over on the first of each month, and the lines at the phones & commissary were horrible. This is one change that actually helped.
Every place must be different as far as lines. My husband has never had to wait in line for using a phone and there are a lot of them.

Unfortunately as for the commissary, I believe there is only commissary 3 days a week and everyone goes one of the 3 days, so for that there is always a line and it's just whomever is there first based on your day of the week. Not to mention how inefficient it is!
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:55 AM
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Once the rollover of phone minutes was switched to 10 different days each month, from one, the phone lines disappeared.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:54 PM
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Default How do you obtain a local # without using a call forwarding program? Thank

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
If your phone has a local number to the prison, calls are 6 cents/min instead of 21 cents/min. Having a cell phone with a local number is acceptable to the bop. The problem arises when folks use "call forwarding programs", like google voice.
How do I obtain a local number without using a call forwarding app? We have a 10 year old son and he lives to speak to his father. Today is only the 19th and my husband has already used all his minutes for the month at 21 cents a minute. Thank you for the help, my husband just entered this months and I have to figure a way to stretch his 300 minutes out so not only my son can speak to him all month, but I too am able to speak to him. I miss my love terribly and our son is having a tough time adjusting. These calls are all we have right now. Thank you!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:11 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. Ask your cell phone carrier if you can change your number to one that is a local call from the prison, both the area code and prefix. He will have an extra 100 phone minutes in Nov. and Dec.

Limiting calls to 10 minutes a day will get easier as you both get accustomed to doing it, or use something like an egg timer to warn you of the time you have been talking
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