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New Inmate Telephone Services Contract Will Generate Needed Funding

July 26, 2013

A new inmate telephone services contract approved by the Placer County Board of Supervisors this week will generate an estimated $285,000 each year. The funds generated through the new contract will be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF) as is required by state law, and into the Juvenile Detention Fund (JDF).

Deposits into the IWF will be used by the Sheriff Office for inmate services and products that are not funded through the jail's operating budget. Deposits into the JDF will be used by the county’s Probation Department for the benefit, education and welfare of the wards and detainees confined within the county juvenile facilities.

The current inmate telephone system is outdated and provides limited functionality. Late last year, the county sought proposals for a new system. From the five vendors who submitted proposals, ICSolutions was chosen. The ICSolutions contract will include installation of an upgraded phone system and software and installation of video visitation systems.

“We are excited about the new technology and the utilization of video visitation,” said Jail Commander Capt. Wayne Woo. “We believe this program will create efficiencies in the jail while enhancing inmate access to loved ones and legal representation.”

Similar to a “collect call”, the new inmate telephone system generates revenue by charging the person that the inmate calls. However, the system will charge a flat rate regardless of the length or where the inmates calls.  Under the new contract, ICSolutions will compensate the county at a higher rate than the previous contractor. The higher rate will be in effect for the first three years of the contract, and could increase should the county opt for a two-years extension.

The ICSolutions contract will also provide a debit card which will replace the current practice of providing checks to inmates when they are released. This will benefit those released after normal business hours as funds may be accessed at any time and at any debit card machine. The contract will provide these services to both the Auburn and South Placer correctional facilities and the Auburn Juvenile Hall.

Of the revenue generated from the new telephone system, $7,600 will be utilized by the Probation Department and $277,400 by the Sheriff’s Office. Neither the IWF nor the JDF has an effect on the county’s General Fund.