MARSHALL CO. — Soon, prisoners at the Marshall County Jail will be charged an extra 25 cents for each phone call they make.
The charge is to cover a voice verification technology that’s being added to the phone system at the jail.
“It’s a software where the inmates get their own personalized PIN number and there is a sentence they would say to verify their identity (when placing a call),” said Sheriff Tom Chamberlin.
Chamberlin said that the technology is being added to reduce theft inside the jail.
“(Now) we wouldn’t have somebody utilizing somebody else’s PIN number and making calls, or giving out their information over the phone,” said Chamberlin.
PIN number theft is a problem at the jail currently, which led to Chamberlin pursuing the voice verification option.
Chamberlin said that inmates are permitted to make calls when in the bay area, which is about 10 hours a day.
“When they have access to the phones, they can make as many calls as they want if they have the money,” said Chamberlin.
He added that the price to make a call varies depending on whether the call is local or long distance, and inmates pay by the minute. The voice verification is a new offering from the phone system manufacturer, Securus.
Chamberlin said that it is his understanding that voice verification was developed by Securus in response to similar problems the company’s other customers were experiences with PIN theft.
According to the company, using the voice verification system improves facility safety, limits PIN theft, and reduces inmate conflicts.
County commissioners voted to approve adding the voice verification to their current contract with Securus Monday.