Milwaukee County Jail inmates get free phone calls on Mother's Day

MILWAUKEE --  For the first time, on Mother’s Day,  inmates at Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee County House of Correction are able to make a free five-minute phone call. 

CenturyLink, the jail’s phone service vendor is paying for the calls. Normally it costs inmates about $1.30 to make a five-minute call. 

“They made a mistake. They’re here, they may have done something horrifically wrong, but I want to see lives changed, I want to see the direction of their lives change, and this is just a little teeny tool that might help accomplish that,” said Sheriff Richard Schmidt with the Milwaukee County Sheriffs Office. 

Organizers with non-profit, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, told us they asked CenturyLink to bear the cost of the calls. The group said the vendor was hesitant at first thinking inmates would use the free calls to contact victims of a crime. The non-profit said CenturyLink eventually agreed. 

TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to CenturyLink for this story. A representative for the vendor did not want to comment on the non-profit’s claims, but said as of 2 p.m., inmates made more than 1400 calls. 

Lynn Plevak is happy she’s able to connect with her son more than once on Mother’s Day. 

Her 26-year-old son has been incarcerated since January on a homicide drug related charge. She said his attorneys are working on getting that felony dropped. 

Milwaukee County Jail protocol only allows visitors to do video visits. Plevak comes every Sunday to talk to her son that way. Mother’s Day is especially difficult. 

“Usually, we are a close family and we’re all together for all holidays so yeah it’s hard,” said Plevak. 

But knowing she will hear from him once more on Mother’s Day, means a lot. 

“I know he’ll use that five minutes and he’ll call,” she continued. 

 

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