How to Call an Inmate in Virginia

You can’t call an inmate who is in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. However, your loved one is able to contact you and legal aid by phone while they are incarcerated. 

The following telephone procedures apply to VADOC facilities only. Offenders under the responsibility of the VADOC but who are housed in a local jail follow the rules of that jail. Please contact that jail directly to learn more about their procedures.

How it Works

The VADOC offender phone system is operated through ConnectNetwork by Global Tel*Link. All calls are recorded and monitored, except properly verified attorney calls.

Offenders may call family, friends, and legal aid from their approved call list. This includes landlines and cell phone numbers. It is up to the offender to maintain their call list, which is limited to a maximum of 15 numbers.

All calls are limited to 20 minutes to allow offenders fair use of the phones. You are free to deny any collect or debit call from an offender.

Funding Offender Phone Calls

Offenders may call collect to phone numbers on their approved call list that accept collect calls. However, this option is limited to a small amount before you will be prompted to create/use one of the following prepaid methods.

AdvancePay for Family and Friends

Family members and friends can deposit money into a prepaid phone account that they set up to receive collect calls from an offender. To set up a prepaid phone plan, visit ConnectNetwork, operated by Global Tel*Link or call them toll-free at 1 (800) 483-8314.

Offender Pin Debit Accounts

Inmates can use their PIN Debit Account to make calls to anyone on their approved call list. The inmate manages this account, and the cost of the call is deducted from their account accordingly.

Inmates are allowed to set up a debit account through the Inmate Trust System to pay for their own calls to numbers on their call list. Debit calls are charged at the same rate as AdvancePay calls.

If there is a minimum of a one-minute balance in the debit account, the call will be announced as a debit call, otherwise the call will not go through and the offender will be told there are insufficient funds to place the call and to try again later. 

If there are less debit funds in the account than the maximum call time allowed, the call will be disconnected once the debit funds are used up. 

If you would like to make a deposit to an offender’s PIN Debit Account, visit ConnectNetwork and create an account. Select “VA” as the state and “Department of Corrections,” then follow the prompts to finish setting up your account. You will need to know the offender’s 7-digit state ID number.

You can make deposits to an offender’s debit account at any time (24/7) online through using MasterCard, Visa credit, or debit cards.  


The following types of calls and services are not permitted on the offender telephone system:

  • Incoming calls 
  • International calls 
  • 700, 800, 888, 900, and similar calls to toll free numbers 
  • Calls charged to credit cards, third parties, or any billing other than collect, AdvancePay to the called party, or offender debit account 
  • Calls transferred to a third party 
  • Call forwarding, call forwarding services, answering services 
  • Calls to pager numbers 
  • Calls to pay telephones 
  • Calls to DOC employees (With prior approval of the respective Regional Operations Chief, exceptions may be made for family members of offenders only.) 

You or the offender can have phone usage revoked if you abuse these privileges.