Long Distance Service Providers

NPR's Amy Costello reports that telephone companies make exclusive agreements with states to provide their inmates with long distance service. In Virginia last year, inmates made three-and-a half million collect calls. MCI Worldcom provides the service for those calls and made an estimated $12 million. Some say that those who receive collect calls from prisoners should be able to choose what long distance carrier they'd like to use. Prison officials say if prisoners want to use the phone, they have to use what is provided because of security issues.

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