Audit: Arizona Department Of Corrections Made $8.2 Million From Inmate Phone Calls In FY 2019

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 8:16pm
Updated: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 8:20am

 Arizona Auditor General
Arizona Auditor General's Office

The Arizona Auditor General's Office recently reviewed the Department of Corrections’ revenues and expenditures for fiscal years 2016 through 2019.

The audit found the department profits from high rates for phone services charged to inmates.

The Department of Corrections contracts with CenturyLink for inmate phone services and receives a 75.3% commission on all revenues.

The audit states Department of Corrections received nearly $8.3 million dollars in commissions in fiscal year 2019.

The Auditor General compared phone rates in Arizona prisons to 4 other states — Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington — and found Arizona charged the highest rate for domestic calls: 12 cents a minute.

The Department uses the money generated by phone services to pay for things like building maintenance and educational and behavioral programming for inmates.