By Christopher Zoukis

Federal inmates can now subscribe to free or paid news services through the use of a monitored email service.  This enables inmates to stay abreast of local, state, national, and issue-specific news of interest to them.  No longer must they dig through recycling bins at their prison facility to locate a week-old USA Today or New York Times.  Now, they can have news delivered to their inbox on a daily, bi-weekly, or weekly basis.  This article presents how these services work, what types of news they furnish, their costs (if any), and presents a list of such reputable email news services.

Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System

The Federal Bureau of Prisons allows inmates to utilize a monitored computer service called the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS).  As reported at https://www.prisonerresource.com/ and https://www.prisonerresource.com/, this system allows inmates to manage their trust fund account transactions, stay abreast through an electronic bulletin board system for inmates, send messages to staff members, browse and buy MP3 song files, manage outside contact’s addresses and phone numbers, print mailing labels for letters, send money to those outside of prison, and even utilize a monitored email service.

Monitored Email Through Corrlinks

The TRULINCS monitored email service allows authorized inmates to email with pre-screened community members.  All the inmate has to do is add the outside contact’s name, postal mailing address, and email address into their contacts folio via a TRULINCS computer and a system-generated email is sent to the outside contact with information on how to become an authorized contact.  After the outside contact goes to the Corrlinks website, they input a security code contained within the system-generated message and they are then allowed to email with the inmate in question.

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By Prison Legal News

PLN’s December 2013 cover story provided an updated look at the prison phone industry and examined a recent order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that imposed rate caps on interstate (long distance) prison and jail phone calls. There have since been several new developments on the prison phone front.

As previously reported, the nation’s two largest Inmate Calling Service (ICS) providers, Global Tel*Link and Securus Technologies, filed legal challenges to the FCC’s order in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On January 13, 2014, the appellate court ruled on Securus’ motion for a stay of the FCC’s order, granting the motion in part and denying it in part. As a result, several key provisions of the order were placed on hold pending the outcome of Securus’ lawsuit.

The interim rate caps imposed by the FCC – $.25 per minute for collect interstate ICS calls and $.21 per minute for debit and prepaid interstate ICS calls – were not stayed and went into effect on February 11, 2014. As of that date, all correctional facilities nationwide were required to comply with the rate caps.

In addition to the rate caps for interstate prison phone calls, the D.C. Circuit also declined to stay a provision of the FCC’s order related to a prohibition on billing-related call blocking.

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