Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said that he would be willing to review a contract where county prison inmates make 15-minute collect calls that cost $15. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said earlier this week that she had not been fully aware of the County's contract with Secarus Technologies that gives Secarus an exclusive contract to run the prison phone system.
The company turns over 57 percent of the profits it makes from prison calls to the county, and pockets the rest. Secarus would not tell WBEZ why the calls are so expensive.
While receptive to review, a spokesman for Dart said that the sheriff is concerned about whether ending the contract might also jeopardize inmates' rights to make phone calls.