No. Neither this jail nor any other jail allows you to directly phone an inmate.
If there is a family emergency, such as a death of an inmate’s immediate family member, you may call (410) 313-5200 and ask to speak to the shift commander.
You might be asked to provide evidence of the emergency. The shift commander will determine whether to give a message to the inmate.
To see if the Howard County Detention Center has this service, go here or call 410-313-5200.
Inmates make calls from the jail in one of two ways.
Traditional collect calls – the inmate may call anyone who is willing to accept the call and pay the charges.
Note: the exception is if the recipient of the call is a victim or witness in the case or if there is a no contact order in place. The call in this case should not be made.
Prepaid calling cards – inmates may purchase prepaid calling cards from commissary. This allows them to dial direct. If friends/family members use cell phones, or their landline phone company does not allow collect calls from penal facilities, the prepaid cards let the inmate call directly.
It is a criminal offense in Maryland for an inmate to possess a cell phone. In some areas of the state, jails are implementing programs that effectively stop cell phones inside the jail from working, other than for calls to 911.
The inmate receives this message: “The cellular device you are attempting to use has been identified as contraband and is illegal to possess under the Maryland statute 9-417.”
It is a misdemeanor for an inmate to possess a cell phone, but could at some future point be changed to felony status with a possible 10 year sentence.
Helping an inmate smuggle a phone or get a phone is also a crime and you can be charged as well.
A growing number of jails now offer email services to inmates and their families. This can save you time by letting you view your email from your smart phone, computer, or tablet, whenever you wish.
You don't have to deal with envelopes, stamps or the post office.
Inmates like it because the emails typically eliminate delayed mail runs so they can get your correspondence quickly and send responses immediately.
Jail staffs like it as it eliminates concerns about contraband entering the facility in envelopes and on paper. It also allows the jail to have an electronic record that can be called upon at any time.
Anything you or your inmate writes in an email service is put through a filtering program that looks for certain words related to criminal and/or gang activities.
There have been multiple cases in which emails between inmates and their friends or loved ones have been used as evidence in criminal court cases to convict them or to file new charges.
This jail does not currently offer email to inmates. The policy could change at a future date.
Call 410-313-5200 or click here to see if email services are being offered at this jail and if so, how to sign up you and your inmate.
Inmates at this facility are provided access to phone for hours of the day. Exceptions will be during headcounts, jail emergencies, lock-downs or other security issues.
If your inmate does not call you during the time you both have scheduled, don't panic. There are often long lines for phone use. When a jail is on lockdown due to a fight or other security issue they do not allow the phones to be used.
Phones are the only way for an inmate to hear your voice and temporarily 'escape' the loneliness of incarceration, so use your time well. Arguing about anything will leave you both feeling empty and guilty, so avoid it at all costs.
All phone conversations are recorded. Whatever you talk about, can and will be used against your inmate in court. Never discuss their pending criminal case!
Click here to view the jail website for additional information.