BAIL BONDS 101
Ep. 3 : The Phone Call From the Jail
May 2, 2018
Hope you have had a good couple weeks!
Let's talk calls from the jail -- first I want to tell you that the State of Missouri has statutes that are specifically for bail bonds. State statute 374.759.2 says that everyone booked into any jail is suppose to get 1 free local call from the jail to a bondsman. Very rarely does that happen.
Every jail that we deal with, municipal or county, has signed up with a "service" for the inmates to use to call out on. A few of those are Encartel.net, NCIC, City Telecoin, Securus. None of these are picked because they are user friendly -- they all pay a little back to the jail that signs up with them. As the designated "deal with the jail phones" person in our company I can tell you from personal experience the "best customer service" is Encartel.net and the "they can eat s**t and die" is City Telecoin. But here is something you won't understand unless you have been in the system or had someone in the system - when an inmate makes a call out the person on the other end has to have the same phone service the inmate is calling through -- WITH a prepaid balance.
Every time an inmate calls a bondsman from the jail, the bondsman is paying for that call. As a company that writes bonds all over the state of Missouri and southeast Kansas we paid a little over $22,000.00 for our phone services last year. Wonder how much the jails received from that total.
So when John Smith calls us from Jasper County jail, and we are charged $5.00 per minute for that call we try to get all the information we need to work the bond as quickly as possible. That information is who is going to cosign on your bond, what is their telephone number, where do you live, do you have a job, how long have you lived there, how long have you been at your job. We do NOT want to hear anything about the charges you are facing - you should remember that the telephones are recorded. After that initial phone call more than likely we will not accept your incoming call to us again. Think about it - you are in Joplin City on one $500.00 bond, the bond fee for a new charge is $75.00, the agent writing the bond gets $37.50, the company gets $37.50 and we pay for the $5.00 phone call you made so now we are down $32.50 and we are responsible for $500.00 - meaning if you don't go to court and we have to pay we are now in the hole $467.50 on this bond.
Hopefully I haven't thoroughly confused you, just wanted to point one of our expense out - most people don't understand that we are paying for phone calls received and think we are making tons of money.