City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"

Q. When someone is in jail why cant they call cell phone?? when most people dont have home phones anymore. I just dont get it.

Dear Juneau Resident,

That is a very good question and required a little consultation with the officers over at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. They are a great bunch and explained the restriction. It made so much sense at the end, it was clear that JPD certainly wants them to maintain that "no calls to cell phones" policy!

People in jail often have restrictions on their communication. It is common for those incarcerated to be forbidden from speaking with his or her domestic violence victim. Residents have people out there who will be testifying against them and it is illegal to threaten those people or ask someone else to threaten them. People in jail should not be ordering up contraband or drugs or planning an escape. Prohibiting calls to cell phones is a critical part of keeping a lid on the illegal behavior.

Most people know all telephone calls from the prison are recorded. Those recordings aren't nearly as helpful if there is no record of who the call went to. Cell phones can be and often are anonymous with minutes purchased at a store. If an inmate breaks the law and there is evidence of that in a phone call, the officer or investigator goes to the residence that accepted the call as one of the first steps.

While this policy is probably inconvenient for prisoners, if it encourages a prisoner to stay on the straight and narrow, and helps produce evidence if a crime is committed, the policy is functioning as intended.


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