First and foremost you must know that your loved one will need to call you. Unfortunately you cannot call into the prison and ask to talk to him or her. He or she may be able to use a debit card, have an advanced pay account, or call collect. Each facility has its’ own rules so make sure you know what the process is to enable your loved one to call you. Typically when your loved one is initially incarcerated he/she will be required to provide a call list. Once the list is approved by the facility then your loved one will be able to call only those people on the list. Some facilities have limitations on the duration of the call such as 20 minutes.
That being said, I do know of a circumstance where someone called the jail after their daughter was arrested. She did speak to the arresting officer who explained what happened, however she was not able to talk to her daughter. She had to wait until her daughter called her collect. So there may be a circumstance where you can speak to an officer.
In order to maintain some type consistency in both you and your loved ones lives, it is a good idea to schedule the calls. This way it gives you both time to prepare for the call and makes it better knowing that you will be there. Speaking on the phone can be stressful, so if you know that your loved one is going to call at a certain time you will be able to prepare yourself for the call. It is also something to look forward to for both of you.
There may be times when your loved one cannot get to the phones for many reasons. Some reasons could be due to a lock down in the prison, someone else is using the phone, and possibly that your loved one has been disciplined or is in solitary confinement and cannot get to the phone. Do not panic and call the facility right away. Set up a time with your loved one in advance that if you do not receive a call within an agreed amount of time, then you would contact the facility. Usually they didn’t call because there was a long line for the phones that day. So don’t worry.
The Costs of Calling Your Loved One in Prison
Typically the connection costs are the most expensive, so if your loved one calls you multiple times it could be more expensive than staying on the line for the allotted time. Check your phone company to find out how much the collect calls are. They can be very expensive and you may need to put together a call schedule with your loved one to manage costs.