Collect Calls from Correctional Facilities...

In mid 2001 the process to receive collect calls from correctional facilities changed.

Most law firms that have transferred their telecom services away from legacy SBC (Ameritech) have already experienced this, but someone new comes along every day.

Here's some history...

Today security companies control all the outbound calls from correctional facilities payphone and "day room" phones. In order for the caller to complete a call, the number they are calling has to be on the security systems approved list.

Historically ILEC serviced billing telephone numbers (BTNs) were input into the systems and the security companies were able to include their charges in the SBC/AT&T monthly bill. They were able to do this because SBC/AT&T has an "open" billing platform. Meaning, any 3rd party company intercepting a call or providing a telecom service can include their charges within your SBC monthly bill.

CLEC's like Paetec, One Com, TDS Metrocom, XO, Bullseye, TNCI, etc... have a "closed" billing platform, meaning 3rd party companies are not allowed to include or "piggy back" their charges on the CLEC monthly bills. When a client transfers their service from an ILEC to a CLEC, the billing telephone number drops off the approved list, thus loosing the ability to receive collect calls from the correctional facilities.

To correct this is pretty simple. The client, typically a law firm, needs to call the correctional facility they receive calls from or have clients in, ask who provides the security for the payphones.

Chances are, CBS (Correctional Billing Services) a division of Evercom/T-Netix will be the provider. They are the largest billing service in the U.S. They can be reached at: or 1-800-844-6591. Open an account and provide them their main number (BTN). They will then re-activate the number in the billing systems and start receiving collect calls. The collect call charges will them be received on their own itemized invoice.

For more information, please don't hesitate to contact me.