If you have a friend or family member in jail, you probably want to stay in touch as much as possible. For example, your loved one might call you from the jail on a regular basis. Even though you might be happy about being able to talk to your loved one, you might have noticed that the cost of jail phone calls can really add up. Luckily, following these tips can help you cut costs while still staying in touch:
1. Sign Up for a Phone Plan
Many jails and prisons work with certain communications companies that specialize in assisting inmates and their families with talking to one another over the phone. In many cases, signing up for an account and talking on the phone through the communications company can often be more affordable than accepting collect calls from the jail. Plus, some of these companies offer prepaid plans; with one of these plans, you can determine ahead of time how much you can afford to spend on jail phone calls and can pay for the calls when it's convenient for you. Plus, you can avoid getting expensive surprise phone bills in the mail.
2. Consolidate Phone Calls
Another way to save money when talking to your loved one is to consolidate phone calls rather than talking several times a week. In many cases, you could be charged a fee per phone call and for partial minutes, which can really add up. If you and your loved one agree to talk at specific times, you can avoid these extra charges and can help ensure that you are available to really focus on the conversation. You might have fewer conversations with your loved one, but you could end up having better quality conversations in this way simply because they are planned out better.
3. Write Letters Instead
Even though it might not be quite the same as hearing your loved one's voice, writing letters can be a good alternative to talking on the phone. It's usually much cheaper since you only have to worry about paying for stationery and postage. Consider contacting the jail to ask for what you can and cannot send in the mail; depending on the rules at the institution, you may be able to send cards, photos and more along with your letters. This can be a good way to shake things up and brighten your loved one's day while saving money on jail calls.
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