How To Find a Jail Phone Number In Florida
Florida criminal offenders are detained in state and county correctional facilities until they complete their sentences or trials. The Florida Department of Corrections (FCD) and County Sheriff Departments regulate how the state's incarcerated population and their loved ones stay connected during this time.
The FCD and counties across Florida recognize the benefits of maintaining ties with friends and relatives when inmates are detained. These relationships aid the rehabilitation process and help inmates cope better with prison life. Communication also eases the psychological toll on people dealing with the absence of their incarcerated loved ones.
Phone calls are among the most effective tools for connecting inmates with their loved ones and legal representatives. Family and friends can reduce the stress and costs of regular prison visits, and attorneys can provide real-time updates about ongoing cases and appeals.
The inmate telephone system can encourage inmates to maintain good behavior and work better toward reintegration into the community. An inmate's prospects for parole can significantly increase with positive conduct, and they will be less likely to re-offend once they leave jail.
A Florida inmate search affords interested members of the public a means to locate inmates and also retrieve the contact information or jail phone number of the facility where they are held.
What is Florida's Provision on Inmate Phone Calls?
Florida Administrative Code, Section 33-602.205, regulates the telephone use of criminal offenders serving time in facilities run by the state's Department of Corrections.
The law restricts inmate telephone communications to authorized people on the inmate's approved call list. The Department requires family members and friends to provide their cell phone contracts to inmates for validation.
The approved list has a cap of 10 numbers, and inmates can only make changes to the list every six months. They can only make changes sooner than six months in specific situations. Inmates must include verification information for numbers (including numbers already on their previous lists) they want to approve when submitting their call list.
Each phone call is limited to a 30-minute duration.
Inmates can initiate calls but cannot receive calls from family and friends. Calls are charged to recipients' phone accounts created with the Department's telephone service contractor. Every call begins with an automated prompt stating the caller's identity and the call's origin. The recipient can then decide to proceed with the call or decline.
Incarcerated people are prohibited from calling numbers that transfer or merge with other numbers and making three-way and conference calls.
The facility housing an inmate can monitor and record their phone conversations except for calls with legal representatives and foreign consulates. Phone logs, information collected from monitoring phone conversations, and phone recordings are customarily retained for 12 months.
Loved ones can send voicemails, which will be subject to monitoring and recording like regular phone calls. Inmates will be able to access these messages for up to one year.
Inmates are prohibited from calling people who have expressed, in writing to the warden, that they do not wish to be contacted. Incarcerated individuals are also prohibited from engaging in business dealings through phone calls.
Telephone privileges for death row inmates are restricted. These inmates are only allowed to have private phone conversations with attorneys, phone calls with courts, telephone communication when there is a proven family crisis, and confidential calls with foreign consulates. Death row inmates permitted to make phone calls are limited to one call per month, which lasts a maximum of 30 minutes.
Florida Administrative Code, Section 33-602.205, does not apply to community correctional facilities and institutions. County Sheriff Departments run county jails in the state. The Sheriff's Office sets the rules regarding inmate phone communications, but they are mostly similar to those set by the state's Department of Corrections.
Eligibility Requirements for Inmate Calls
The following eligibility requirements apply to inmates and their loved ones who want to communicate through the prison telephone system of facilities under the Florida Department of Corrections:
- Loved ones must use cell phones issued by an FCC-licensed wireless telecommunications company.
- Friends and families must create a payment account with the third-party vendor contracted to operate the telephone system.
- Attorneys must present satisfactory evidence to wardens for private phone conversations. The inmate's attorney must present the evidence in a letter (on attorney letterhead) containing the attorney's bar association number, name, and signature. Attorneys can also make arrangements to allow inmates to receive private calls by submitting a copy of their bar admission card, the letter of request, required documents, and a signed DC6-20001 form.
- To initiate personal calls with foreign consulates, the facility's warden must receive evidence that proves the inmate's nationality (as verified by Custody Enforcement and Immigration) and the need for the call.
- In most cases, the inmate telephone calls are furnished by a prepaid calling account (for paid telephone calls).
Are Inmate Phone Calls Public?
No. Inmate phone calls, especially recordings of phone conversations, are not considered public information. While Florida's Public Records Law grants public access to official records generated by government agencies, it does not cover inmate phone calls (Bent v. State, 46 So.3d 1047 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010).
Corrections facilities in Florida can record and monitor inmate phone conversations. However, institutions under the Florida Department of Corrections install at least one telephone without connecting it to the monitoring system. This telephone serves private inmate-attorney calls.
Inmates can also make private calls to the foreign consulates of their native countries.
Only specific officials have access to facility phone records. They include the Deputy Director of Institutional Operations, Facility Secretary, Chief of Bureau Intelligence or their designee, Regional directors or designees, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Institutions or their designee, Warden of each institution or their designee, Deputy Secretary, Chief of Bureau of security operations or their designee, Inspector General or designee, Director of Institutional Operations and Intelligence or their designee, and the Chief of Bureau of Classification Management or their designee.
How to Perform a Florida Inmate Search
A Florida inmate search is an important step in obtaining a jail phone number. This is because, phone numbers are best found after confirming the jurisdiction where the detainee is held. To perform this search. Inquirers can use the Florida Department of Corrections official website; here, the requestor must provide the inmate's name or DC number. For inmate searches at the county level, the Sheriff’s Offices have their own search tools.
As as alternative to the aforementioned, several third-party websites offer extended inmate search services, often for a fee. However, depending on the tool being used, searches can be performed using the inmate’s arrest ID or other identifiers.
Where Is a Jail Phone Number Typically Listed in Florida?
Jail phone numbers in Florida are typically listed on the website of the government agency that runs the facility. The Florida Department of Corrections runs state prisons, while County Sheriff's Offices run county jails. Individuals who want to contact a facility can run a search for the facility or visit the website of the body in charge.
How To Find a County Jail Phone Number In Florida
The first step in finding a jail phone number is knowing the facility housing the inmate. An inmate's sentence largely determines where they are incarcerated. For example, felons sentenced to more than a year are housed in state prison facilities. Loved ones can perform an inmate search if they want more details about a state offender's incarceration.
Once individuals know where inmates are housed, they can visit the website of the body responsible for the facility. For example, the Contact Corrections page on the Miami-Dade County website contains phone numbers for different correctional facilities and administrative offices.
Florida Jail Phone Numbers and Contact Information
Interested individuals can visit the Facility Directory page of the FDC's website to find the state's prisons and their addresses, emails, phone numbers, and fax.
How To Put Money On Phone For Jail Calls in Florida
Individuals must fund their prepaid accounts (obtainable from a correctional facility's approved vendor) to enable inmates to call the phone number registered to the account and listed on the inmate's approved call list. The call bill will be deducted from the account after every call.
How to Add Money to Inmate Phone Account in Florida
Loved ones can fund inmate phone accounts through an authorized vendor's website using their approved means of payment. The inmate's phone account funds belong to the inmate, and call bills will be deducted from the account when inmates choose to use that option.
How To Accept Collect Calls From Jail On Cell Phone For Free In Florida
The third-party vendor operating phone services in FDC facilities offers one free 5-minute call to each inmate per month. Other collect calls are charged to the recipient's phone account at $0.135 per minute.