What rights do inmates have?

Should the county make it cheaper for phone calls made by inmates? Well, that was one of the discussions today at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting today.

The board today heard a presentation by the county sheriff’s department about the struggles they are facing with the current inmate phone system. One of the problems, according to a jail worker, is that families of inmates complain of up to $300 phone bills. These are collect calls. Also, the phones cut out and the county is charged additional fees.

The response from the Sheriff: “Talk less.”

Some of the board members expressed empathy for the inmates and their families for having to pay so much money to have to speak to one another.

The county approved a motion by Supervisor Yaroslavsky not to extend a $3.5 million contract to provide inmate phone services at the detention facilities and instead take the issue out to bid.