Making collect calls from correctional facilities can be done by employing the traditional collect call, in which the person being called must accept the charges each time. Inmates can also use a payment plan allows the person receiving the phone call to have the charges automatically applied to his telephone bill.
Payment plans for making collect calls from correctional facilities differ. Some offer the ability for the person receiving a call to set up a prepaid account from which the charge for the call is automatically deducted. Others add the charge for the call directly to a telephone bill; these plans require a credit check and are used mainly by inmates' lawyers and family and friends of those who have a long sentence. An account can also be established in the inmate's name to which money is added routinely.
The ability for inmates to make collect calls depends on rules put in place by the correctional facility. For example, the Florida Department of Corrections only allows inmates to call numbers that have been approved. The phone list may consist of 10 numbers at a time; they can be landlines or cellphones, but individuals with cellphones must provide a copy of their phone contracts to validate that the phones are not disposable. All numbers are fully vetted to ensure the number belongs to the person the inmate designated. Collect calls to businesses are prohibited.