ACLU: Nebraska counties charge excessive fees for inmate phone calls

A report from the ACLU of Nebraska says counties are charging excessive fees, and profiting, from phone calls made by inmates in county jails, as reported in the Omaha World-Herald.

While an inmate in a state prison can make a 15-minute call for $1.50, those detained in the state’s county jails can expect to pay much more, from $7 to up to $19 for the same call, the report said.  

Jails contract with for-profit telephone services that handle collect and paid calls by inmates. The contractors then share a portion of the profits with the local county, a practice that the ACLU compared to the “for-profit debtors prison” of the Victorian era. 

“Most county jails in Nebraska use private, for-profit companies that literally have pictures of sheriffs swimming in piles of money in their advertising,” said Amy Miller, an attorney with the ACLU of Nebraska.

Read the full article at the Omaha World-Herald online

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