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Inmates Cash in on Prison Phone Glitch


From Arelis R. Hernández at the Orlando Sentinel comes a hilariously idiotic story of a jail in Lake County, Florida, where rather than having money withdrawn from their accounts, inmates were paid to make phone calls. So much so that one man bonded out after making 77 calls and having $1,250 deposited into his account. He ended up turning himself in a few hours later.

News of the bug floated to other inmates, who began to spend inordinate amounts of time on the phone.
Global Tel*Link — the company that provides the jail’s inmate phone system — charges the cost of a call from inmate trust accounts at a rate of $2.58 for local calls, $13.85 for long distance and $23.68 for international calls.
If no one answers or the caller hangs up, the money is returned to the account, officials said.
But in early July something bizarre happened. The system was reimbursing inmates twice for incomplete calls — allowing them to make a profit.

The jail’s IT department noticed the glitch just as another inmate was getting ready to walk.

Kevin Tomlinson was in the middle of paying his $1,400 bond when investigators caught up with him.

The glitch lasted 24 hours and affected about 256 jail inmate accounts. Officials aren’t sure how much was deposited.
[HT: Eric Samuelson]