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$370,000 in Annual Phone Revenue at Ohio Jail

At the Montgomery County jail in Dayton, Ohio, taking more than a half-million dollars annually from prisoners who want to call their loved ones is actually called “giving.”

When asked by the Dayton Daily News about prisoners’ telephone access in Montgomery County, Major Daryl Wilson explained, “We give them as many calls as they need to let people know where they are.”

Of course all that giving has meant a windfall for Montgomery County and jail vendor Aramark Correctional Services, which will split more than $370,000 in revenue from sales of pre-paid phone cards.

The county’s share of the sales – 42%, or about $156,000 annually – must be spent “to support the current jail inmate population,” Wilson stated.

“We can’t go out and buy new cruisers with that money,” he said. “It has to be spent on the inmates, according to Ohio law.”

The county will reap an additional $200,000 in 2011 from collect calls, which Wilson said is used to offset the cost for an operator and pays for maintenance to the jail’s “heavy-duty telephones.”

Montgomery County jail prisoners must wait three days after being booked before they are allowed access to the commissary. For $10 they can purchase a Global Tel*Link prepaid phone card that’s good for three calls. Collect calls cost $2.75 plus $.20/minute.

Sources: Dayton Daily News,

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