For several years Securus has been the collect call billing company for the Wilmington, Burgaw, and Bolivia jails. A lot of people are familiar with that recorded call that says ” This is a collect call from county jail to accept charges press one.” At a rate of $15 every time you accept a call, it won’t take long to have a huge phone bill. This may not seem like a big deal to most people but it could have effect on you if you live in Pender or Brunswick counties and know someone that has ever ended up in jail. New Hanover county jail is the only jail that gives each bail bonding company one phone number that can receive free calls from inmates. A representative for the New Hanover County Jail explained why this makes sense, ” We want these people out of the jail to relieve the taxpayer from paying these peoples living expenses .” By charging bail bondsmen the phone billing fees from Securus you could imagine what our phone bills might look like. The jails spend more money housing people that could have bonded out with their own money and let the bail bondsman assume the liability to make sure they appear in court.
It seems to me that if Brunswick and Pender County jails want to save tax payer money and reduce over crowded jails, they could follow New Hanover jail and allow bail bonding companies one free number so inmates can call and have a better chance of bonding out. Maybe this is a story topic for the local news? If you have any input on this topic we would like to hear from you!