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How does the Securus inmate phone service work?

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Quick Answer

To receive inmate calls, users are first required to set up specialized accounts with Securus, explains Inmate Telephone Service. For standard users, Securus offers two types of account: a traditional collect call account and a prepaid account. A third account type is targeted at government agencies, businesses and other organizations.

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Full Answer

Formerly known as Correctional Billing Services, Securus Technologies offers a service that allows users to receive calls from inmates, explains Inmate Telephone Service. The company offers three types of accounts. The traditional collect call account allows users to receive calls and pay for the charges later, typically as part of their normal phone bills. In contrast, the AdvanceConnect account is prepaid. The third account type, Direct Billing, is aimed at businesses, social workers and other government agents, among others.

There are several ways of paying for the inmate phone service offered by Securus, explains the Inmate Telephone Service. Charges for traditional collect call accounts are included in standard phone bills. Prepaid accounts can be loaded online using personal checking accounts, debit cards or credit cards. They can also be loaded offline by mailing money orders, personal checks or cashier's checks to Securus or by making payments through Western Union.

A substantial number of correctional facilities apply calling rates similar to those offered by major carriers, explains the Inmate Telephone Service. However, collect calls as well as other operator-assisted calls attract a charge exclusive of normal calling rates.

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