In-person visits to the Niagara County Jail have been banned because of the Covid-19 outbreak, so the cost of outgoing phone calls by inmates has been reduced, acting Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti said Friday.
Each inmate will be allocated two free 5-minute calls per week, Filicetti announced. The new policy will last for 30 days.
For longer calls, the jail's phone carrier, GTL, has switched to flat-rate calling and reduced prices.
A 20-minute local call will cost an average of 15 to 18 cents per minute, which is about 20% lower than under the old format. A 20-minute long-distance call could turn out to be as much as 75% cheaper than before.
"We are doing all we can to help keep families communicating during these unprecedented times," Filicetti said. "With the current pandemic, we know it's important for families to stay connected."
The jail had 294 inmates as of Friday. Its capacity is 504 inmates.