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Can I call a friend in jail to see if they want help with bail bonds ?

Last updated 2 years ago

When you work in the commercial bail bonds industry you get all sorts of questions, spanning from how long the process will take, how much it costs to hire a bondsman and whether it’s possible to call an inmate at the jail.

Our response is always the same. “The jails simply aren’t that customer service oriented.”

If someone you know has been arrested and they have access to a pay phone, you might receive a call. The problem, though, is that outbound calls from lock up facilities are collect calls, and many cell phone providers don’t allow customers to accept them.

This can be a bit distressing for the person the inmate is trying to reach.

On one hand, they know a loved one is in custody, but how do they know what that person wants them to do?   Can’t they just call the jail and ask to be connected? Should they try to hire a bondsman, without talking to the defendant first? What if they don’t want to be bailed out?

You should know that the only way to get a message to the defendant is if they are able to contact you. Jailers don’t pass on notes, and bail bonds professionals aren’t even able to dial in and get a detainee on the phone. It simply doesn’t work that way.

You should also know that jails are uncomfortable, frightening and highly unpleasant places, and yes, if a friend has tried to reach you, there’s a 99.9% chance they’re doing so because they need your help with bail bonds.

If a defendant doesn’t hire a bondsman they’ll need to stay locked up until their first court date, which will happen within three business days of their arrest. If they were detained late Friday night of a three-day holiday weekend, they may not see a judge until Wednesday or Thursday of the following week.

They’ll miss work, school, and won’t be able to meet other time-sensitive obligations, and it could put their job in jeopardy.

If you’ve been contacted by a friend or family member who has been arrested and you have questions about what this means, how bail bonds work or what you’ll need to do to get them out, your best recourse is to call a local bondsman who can help explain the process

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