Nebraska counties are reaping thousands of dollars each year in charges for inmate phone calls, and one lawmaker says he'll introduce a bill next year to clamp down on the practice.
Sen. Ernie Chambers said Tuesday that the system allows private contractors and local governments to profit off of jail inmates and their families, who often end up paying for the calls.
County corrections officials say the contractors provide important security and tracking services, which would overwhelm local governments.
Douglas County received $632,500 in commissions last year that were charged to inmate debit accounts. Administrator Roland Hamann says the money has helped pay for televisions, newspapers, board games, clothing and other items for inmates that the county is not required to provide.