How to get Google Voice for inmate calling

For example:  Getting a Google Voice number starting with area code 252 to received inmate calls

You need to set up a “local” phone number in Google Voice for your inmate. In other words, if person is incarcerated in the area with 252 area code, you need to set up a number in Google Voice with that same area code. When this number is dialed, it is routed by Google Voice to your home phone or cell phone (in another state). The inmate only pays for the local call. He or she is dialing a local call for him/her and that is what is charged. Assuming the facility does not block Google Voice numbers, this is much, much cheaper than the ridiculous fees charged by the prisons.

You need to send the Google Voice number to your inmate and have it added to their list of approved phone numbers.

Follow the link below for the how to guide. You just do a search for that area code and select any of the available numbers within that area code.

  • april pickett

    how do u turn the voice recorder off

  • techbytes

    If you are talking about the custom greeting, you can’t. You can deactivate Google Voice voicemail on your phone by dialing your carrier designated code.

  • Trinnette

    How much does it cost to use this service?

    • techbytes

      Trinnette, calls to the U.S. and Canada are free. If you are talking about inmate calls, then you need to put your money on a pre-paid card and register the number with GTL or ICS or whoever provides the phone service at the prison. This is all dandy if GTL or ICS do not block Google Voice numbers as a lot of other facilities do.


      • tina lambertson

        need a phone number to talk to somebody

  • Kesha

    Is there a number for me to contact someonee at google voice because I am having technical difficulties.

    • techbytes

      Google do not provide phone support. This is why I started this blog, to help out with any technical difficulties Google Voice users encounter like yourself. So what is your issues with Google Voice?


  • techbytes

    You need to register for a Google Voice number that is local to the inmate. Then have the inmate register this number with the inmate phone service system and add money to the pre-paid card. You add your house number to Google Voice forward to number. When the inmate dial your Google Voice number, your house number will ring. Hopefully, the facility phone service system does not block Google Voice number as some of them do.


    • Sapphyreopal5

      Does the google voice number have to be the same area code as the inmate’s phone service system for this to work or is that so the charges are less? I already had a google voice number before my friend became incarcerated a few weeks back and the area code is different. Also, is there a way to find out if google voice is blocked by a particular facility without learning this the hard way (basically the call just not going through at all)?

  • Courtney Stanford

    I havee missed 53 phonee calls literally from my boyfriend who is in jail! Everytimee I pick the phonee up and answer it the phonee hangs up!!!!! I need help ASAP!

    • techbytes

      Does he have credits in his pre-paid card?

  • keith

    I got google voice and my girlfriend keeps calling but cant get through. I have no idea what to do. I know she has money on the phone, she mentioned something about the ringback, but I am lost. Please help

  • tiffany

    hi my bf is n the pinellas county jail and he just calld me sayin another inmate said i could go on
    google voice 2 get a 727 number so he can call me do anybody no how i go about setting this service up please n anybody help me

  • Jenn M

    I keep searching for numbers within 5 area codes and its coming up blank …

    • techbytes


      If you don’t see any numbers in your search, then they are not available. What are some of the area codes? I’ll see if numbers show up in my search.

  • alicia

    If I have a google voice talk app with a650 area code can I revice a call from an inmate?

  • alicia

    How to switch my Google voice number

    • techbytes

      Hi Alicia,

      Do you mean to change your number to a new Google Voice number?

      • nateisha thompson

        Yes how do we change our google voice number??

  • megan

    how do you change you forwarding number??? my cell phone changed carriers so I need to get my new number registered so my fiance can call home

    • techbytes

      Log in to your Google voice account at, click on the gear icon and then select “Settings”. Under the “Phones” tab, edit your old number and put in your new number.

  • techbytes

    Google voice is only supported in the US and Canada at this time. Not sure if Google plan on expanding the service internationally.

  • nbey

    How do I start an account?

  • techbytes

    I think GTL needs to add the Google Voice number to their system.

  • Jessica

    Do i have to pay for anything on a credit card to make this work? and my inmate is in Mansfield, OH and I tried to look up that area code but it was not available

  • Teresa Garner

    Can I get a google number for an inmate and still keep my current cell phone number?

    • techbytes

      Yes, you can register for a Google Voice number and keep your cell number because you need to add your cell number in the Google Voice setup so when he calls the GV number, your cell phone will ring. You will need to register the Google Voice number in the same area code as the facility the inmate is in.

  • techbytes

    Did he have the facility phone carrier add the Google Voice to their system?

  • techbytes

    Did he have the prison facility phone carrier add the Google Voice number to their system?
    They need to whitelist the number.

  • techbytes

    You just need to check back often since no one but Google knows when numbers are added.

  • Misty Disque

    can we have more than one number

    • techbytes

      You will need to create multiple accounts if you want to use multiple numbers.

    • romzy06


  • SammiJo

    My significant other is currently in our county jail. The facility
    charges $6 a call. I recently created a Google Voice acct cause we were
    told it would be cheaper. When I created the acct it said I had to
    select a number with the same area code and when he calls that number it
    would be routed to my regular cell number. However when he calls the
    Google Voice number it still charges the same rate. He asked around with
    his fellow inmates and they advised I should have selected an out of
    state number. But when I try to do that, they wanna charge $10 to change
    the number. I don’t wanna change the number if it isn’t going to
    work… Anyone have an idea of what to do in this situation?!!

    • Marla R. Stevens

      I had the same problem with an out-of-state inmate at the satellite camp of the Federal Medical Center, Carswell on the old Carswell military air base on the outskirts of Ft. Worth, TX. I chose what should’ve been a local number for her to call from there but the prison still charged as if it were long distance. I haven’t changed the number because I can’t afford the fee until I’m absolutely certain it will work. So I, too, am looking for help on this.

      BTW, most of the families we’ve talked to about this have given up on Google Voice and gotten either another NAM if the cell is dual NAM or just gotten another cell just for these calls, getting the phone company to be responsible for assigning them numbers that actually will show up as local when dialed from the place of incarceration.

    • Belinda Barnett Andrea

      i heard the same thing. to use a out of state number. im in ny but i dont want to pay to change either

  • ashley

    now that i have my google voice number, do i add the money on that google number under GTO imate tell services for nassau county the regular way??

  • techbytes

    He needs to add money to the jail phone service account and have them add your Google Voice number to accept calls.

  • sonya campbell


    • Mike Thaler

      Because many (most) jail facilities charge $$ per minute to allow a prisoner to contact anyone on the outside. There are companies that provide this expensive service and rebate a percentage back to the jail facility.

    • tina

      I don’t know but I’m having the same problem

  • Rhoda Norton

    I got google voice so that the calls from my friend in prison would be cheaper. When he tries to call he gets a 109 error message . Does anyone know what this error code means?

  • treina smith

    How can I get one

  • Nakia Thompson

    I already have a google voice account with my cellphone, however Im trying to upgrade an additional number with the 606 area code for my bf to call me from prison. Im unable to find the upgrade button.. so my question is. Is it possible for me to do this and how, or do I need to set up a new account. So confused. Please help

    • techbytes

      You can change your existing number by going into “Settings” and click on the “Change/Port” option next to your number and then click on “I want a new number” button.

  • Asia White

    Do I put money on the google voice account or do I ad money to my gtl account my kids father calls me but he said it doesn’t do anything at all when he calls what should I do?

    • techbytes

      Yes, add money to GTL account and have them add your Google voice number to their “whitelist”.

  • Asia White

    Do I need money on my google voice too

  • Jessica Yost

  • LolaM

    I was trying to set up a google voice account as I live in Europe and my boyfriend is in a prison in California. Unfortunately the “friendly” customer support of gtl found out that the credit card (obviously issued in Europe) doesn’t go with a US local number. So I got busted. I asked her for the TOS where it states I can’t use a third party provider but was denied a copy of their terms. Does anyone here for sure know what the legal situation is and how I can circumnavigate it to cut down call costs? I would highly appreciate your help as being in Europe and having nobody to ask doesn’t make things easier.

  • Sarah

    I have made a new number for my google voice account. I have put money on both my google voice and also added my new number to my GTL account. I have also added money to my GTL account under my google voice number. My boyfriend said that when he tried calling the new number it didn’t go through. what am i doing wrong???? Also, what is a “whitelist”? is there anything that my boyfriend needs to do on his end for the calls to go through? He is in Oakland County Jail. someone please help. the cost of the calls there are outrageous :(

  • Tonya

    My husband is in jail in Kentucky but Im in Michigan I downloaded GV an got the area code of the jail but when he calls the phone rings an I accept it just hangs up it even left a voicemail once what are we doing wrong.

  • Nilaja States

    I received a collect phone call from my brother I have google voice number but unfortunately its not coming through am I supposed to tell him to add my Google Voice number to his list and do not collect calls me I’m not understanding please help me

  • Nilaja States

    Well my brother calls me the operator ask me to put money on the phone call what’s going on is he not supposed to call collect can someone please please please help me figure this out

  • Amanda

    Do you have to pay 10 for Google voice

    • techbytes

      Did the facility add your Google Voice number to their list of approved numbers? Did you disable call presentation?

  • Amanda Holman

    Google voice keep dropping my calls why is that? Is sprint going to charge me for having google voice?

    • techbytes

      Sprint will not charge you for having Google Voice on your phone and you do not have to put $10 in your Google Voice account unless you want to make international calls.

      • Amanda Holman

        Why does it keep dropping my collect calls

  • ashley

    Ok so I have set up a account and put $10 on it got a number and my boyfriend called I hit 1 to get the call then it just went to the same thing like when he calls my phone telling me to put my card number in and all that to get the call what am I doing wrong how can I fix it

  • confussed

    Does this google voice thing work because from what iam reading quite a few people are having issues

  • confussed

    I need to set up acct but once I add my money to the acct will I be able to receive the calls from the facility

    • techbytes

      Some facilities blocked Google Voice numbers. Only way to find out is ask them to add your Google Voice number to their approval list (sometimes called whitelist).

      • Belinda Barnett Andrea

        what if they dont have a waitlist. they just use their id number?

  • confussed

    I was looking online and i found a company called cheap jail calls has anyone ever dealt with them if so would appreciate any info

  • Tiara Missin Kalil Carroll

    How do I get the Google voice?

  • Holland Stan is by far the best jail calls service out there and all their local numbers are accepted by all correctional facilities. They have a plan thats $10 a month but you have to get the 6 month plan

  • Belinda Barnett Andrea

    Can someone email me at [email protected] if you have a loved one in nassau county correctional center i have a 516 google voice number because its in nassau county from what im reading it would be a local call. someone told me she uses 702 which is cheaper but doesn’t make sense. does nassau even have a white list? ill ask tues on my visit. i did disable that function so i don’t have to push numbers to talk i want to know who is successful using this before i add money and my number to GTL thank you

  • Belinda Barnett Andrea

    Several ladies told they use google voice with no problems at nassau county correctional center in long island but gtl said the person would have to attempt a call first before i know the rated i set up a number in the same area code and disabled the prompts. does the money go to gtl or google voice thanks

    • techbytes

      Money does not go to your Google Voice account.


    I am trying to set up a google voice account, I have been through the process and now I did a search for available numbers for that area code. I have clicked on every single one of those numbers and each one gave me an error message. I have not been able to find a number or email to get some help from google voice. Does anyone have a contact number for customer support or do you know why I am getting these error messages. I was reading the comments and it seems that not many people are have great success?! Is this worth setting up? I have been messing with this site for three days now!!! HELP!!!!!!!

  • christy hyams

    i have several fam members who r incarcerated in dif locations, can one number be set up with more than one google number so each one can have a local number to call?

    • techbytes

      You can only set up one Google Voice number per account.

  • Belinda Barnett Andrea

    i set up a 516 because my boyfriends facility is 516. i live in 718 but gtl told me both rates are the same even though i live distant from the jail? i was told to delete the 516 set up a 702 by a young lady who was visiting the same jail.but i would be charged by google for dropping the local 516 number????

    • techbytes

      Google do not charge for domestic calls. Any charges will be from GTL. If you have any doubts, don’t add any funds to your Google Voice account.

  • Rose Pate

    I’m in Michigan my fiance is in the county jail he told me I can use Google voice to get cheaper calls….but I have no clue what I’m doing any help will be greatly appreciated thank you in advance

  • Skyrisami

    What’s funny about this is that Google Voice doesn’t support doing this. I hope you people don’t call the 1800 number for help. This is not an approved process, also, the Jail systems are switching over so this can’t be possible. I know the one in my area did.

    • techbytes

      When people hear free or low rates, they will try it even if it doesn’t work.

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