Imagine being in one of the scariest places known to our modern society, and not being able to even call and tell your parents/spouse/friend/loved ones where you are – simply because they can’t afford to speak to you.
In Ontario, inmates can only make calls to landlines. This proves incredibly difficult for most of our clients, as more and more people ditch their land lines in favour of cell phones.
Even if a loved one does have a landline, they still need to accept the collect call charges from the prison. The collect call fees are quite high, and can run several dollars for a basic phone call.
For many inmates, the phones are the only means of contacting family and friends if they do not live close to the prison or are unable to visit the prison (which is itself a strictly regimented process).
Inmates who are incarcerated without access to family and community support undoubtedly suffer from isolation, disconnection, poverty, mental health challenges, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Not to mention that the inability to access family and supports create barriers for community reintegration upon release.
The current contact for these jail telephone services is set to expire at the end of January, 2020. Many groups are calling out for a change, using this contract ending as a perfect opportunity to pounce on the issue.
If you find yourself incarcerated, the team at DeMelo Law are happy to take on your case. We can come to the jail to speak to you personally, take your calls at our office (we accept collect calls), and relay messages to loved ones.