Why Can’t I Put a Three-Way Call Through for an Inmate?

Your inmate might ask you to put a telephone call of his through to another person by using the three-way system. Most cell phones and landlines are set up so that three people can converse on one phone call. Jails around the country typically don’t allow this. Here are some of the facts.

Why Do Inmates Ask about Three-Way Calls?

  • The three-way system allows inmates to speak to people they are not supposed to contact. Included in this group would be victims of crimes and charge partners. Some jails are set up to block an inmate from dialing restricted numbers. If he can get you to do a three-way he can get around that.

Three-way calling cheats the jail phone company out of money. The company wants each phone number that the inmate calls to have a phone account and to pay for those calls. Because of this, three-way calls are strictly prohibited in almost all cases.

What Happens if You Are Caught Making a Three-Way Call?

  • Almost all of the jail phone companies have software installed to detect when a three-way call is occurring.

If the software detects a three-way call, it immediately breaks into the call. A recorded voice states that a three-way call has been caught and the call is disconnected.

You are not reimbursed for the cost of the call. In some cases, there is actually no three-way call being made, but the system thinks there is and disconnects the call, which can be quite frustrating.

Avoid these words during a jail call.

Final thoughts:  It can be tempting to do a three-way call for the inmate, but some jails are set up that if you are caught making attempts, your own phone number will be blocked so that the inmate cannot call you again. It’s not worth the risk.




About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.