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CONTRACTS; CORRECTIONS; CREDIT; LEGISLATION; PRISONS AND
PRISONS AND PRISONERS;
..It OlR RESEARCH REPORT
May 30, 2007
INMATE PHONE CALLS
By: Christopher Reinhart, Senior Attorney
You asked for information about inmate phone calls.
Currently, inmate phone calls must be made as collect calls in most
Department of Correction (DOC) facilities. PA 02-104 required DOC to
establish a pilot program to allow inmates to use a debit account or
similar system to pay phone calls instead of collect calls.
The pilot program began on June 23, 2004 at the Brooklyn Correctional
Institution and later expanded to Enfield Correctional Institution. The
program allows people on an inmate's call list to set up an account where
they can deposit money for calls instead of billing for collect calls.
According to DOC, the pre-paid calling system will be “rolled-out” to the
remainder of DOC facilities effective August 1, 2007.
Attached is a recent Hartford Courant article on this topic (April 28,
CONTRACT FOR INMATE PHONE SERVICES
According to information provided by DOC, the contract for the inmate
phone system with MCI/Verizon expired in July 2006. But the contract
gave the state the option of extending the term with two one-year
extensions. DOC invoked the first extension, which expires July 2007,
and intends to invoke the second, which will expire July 2008.
Since extending the contract, DOC and the Department of Information
Technology (DOIT) submitted a request for information (RFI) to see what
other vendors could offer for inmate phone systems. The RFI period
ended April 13, 2007 and DOC is currently reviewing the information to
better determine what vendor the state should negotiate with when the
contract extension expires in July 2008.
Global Tel-Link will acquire the inmate phone system portion of the
contract with MCI/Verizon on June 1, 2007. DOC states that this should
not effect operations because the contract's terms and conditions remain
in effect. Both the traditional collect calling and pre-paid collect calling
system will be available through the remainder of the contract
extensions. DOC states that the pre-paid collect calling system allows the
inmate's friends and families to receive a 25% discount off traditional
collect calling rates, when they deposit funds into a pre-paid account.
The state negotiated with MCI/Verizon to “roll-out” the pre-paid calling
system to the remainder of the DOC facilities effective August 1, 2007.
MONEY FROM THE CONTRACT
DOIT receives the money from the MCI/Verizon contract. In FY 02 and
FY 03, legislation transferred $ 300,000 to DOC (SA 01-1) and starting
with this fiscal year, DOC receives $ 350,000 per year for inmate
education and re-entry programs.
The table below shows information DOIT provided to DOC on
commissions from inmate phone calls.
Contract for Inmate Phone Services
$ 5,611,836. 59