There is no fiscal impact to the County General Fund as a result of this action. The Recommended Action approves a self-sustaining Agreement whereby revenue generated through the provision of inmate telephone and tablet services provides sufficient income to the vendor to sustain the delivery of the services without a cost to the County.
In December 2010, the County of Santa Clara Department of Correction (County) executed an Agreement with Global Tel-Link (GTL) for inmate calling services (ICS) from December 1, 2010 through November 30, 2015.
The First Amendment to the Agreement, executed on January 13, 2011, removed a contractually required performance bond in place during the installation of GTL’s systems and equipment following execution of the Agreement, which was no longer necessary once the installation had been completed.
The Second Amendment to the Agreement was executed on August 17, 2015 and extended the end date to November 15, 2017, established reduced ICS rates, and increased the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF) commission rate. The Second Amendment also added a program to provide 500 GTL Inspire tablet computers to inmates in the Santa Clara County Jail. However, 14 months after the second amendment was executed, no inmate tablets were deployed.
Therefore, a Third Amendment was executed on April 11, 2016, to add terms pertaining to the resolution of issues arising out of implementation of the Inspire tablets and to include a termination provision allowing the County to terminate the Inspire tablet computer program in the jails.
The Fourth Amendment was executed August 15, 2017, and established new per-minute calling rates, eliminated commission payments, deleted the Inspire tablet computer program, added Prison Rape Elimination Act terms, and extended the agreement through November 15, 2018.
The Fifth Amendment was executed October 30, 2018, and extended the Agreement through July 15, 2019, in order to ensure uninterrupted availability of ICS to inmates in the jail while the project for inmate telephone services and tablets is underway. The Amendment provides for contract termination at the discretion of the County with 30 days’ notice to the vendor.
Acquisition History of Proposed Agreement
On July 26, 2017, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office submitted requisition #60006050 to initiate a request for proposal for an Inmate Phone Service System and Tablet System.
Due to collaborative efforts by the Office of the Sheriff, Technology Services and Solutions, and the Procurement Department, the solicitation RFP-PRO-FY18-0078 Jail Inmate Services Program was issued through BidSync, the County’s solicitation management system on November 22, 2017. This request for proposals (RFP) covered two streams of Jail Inmate Services Program for inmates housed in the County’s correctional facilities:
1) Inmate Calling Systems (ICS)
2) Inmate Tablet Services Platform (ITSP) (hardware and installed software)
The RFP closed on January 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM Pacific Time (PT). Five vendors submitted proposals on or before the due date. The evaluation process followed thereafter, with two separate evaluations of proposals for the two streams.
The evaluation factors used to determine the best value proposal for each stream, included the following:
• Ability to meet technical and functional requirements
• Corporate strength, experience, references
• Implementation, Project Management
• Local Preference
The Evaluation Committee (Committee) was comprised of representatives from Sheriff’s Office and Information Services Department (now Technology Services and Solutions).
On August 29, 2018, the Committee determined that, based on the evaluation criteria, Legacy Inmate Communications provided the best value and was moved forward into the negotiations stage as the highest ranked vendor for both the ICS and the ITSP.
On August 30, 2018, final negotiations commenced with Legacy for both the ICS and the ITSP streams and concluded on February 4, 2019.
Negotiations of County Terms and Conditions were completed on November 1, 2018.
The County and Legacy have agreed on language that allows for future enhancement/expansion of jail forms and processes to be managed through the inmate tablet. This list includes, but is not limited to: Grievances, Requests, Medical requests (White Cards), meeting compliance standards, and additional programming. However, in collaboration with TSS and Procurement, Custody Health Services (CHS) is seeking a separate electronic solution for white card submission that is HIPPA compliant. CHS will provide an off-agenda report to the Board relating to the capacity for inmates to make appointments and communicate with medical staff in an easy, confidential, and electronic manner.
On February 18, 2019, Securus Technology, Inc, (Securus) filed a written protest addressed to the Procurement Contracting Officer alleging abuse of process and abuse of discretion by County officials or evaluation team members. This informal protest was carefully reviewed and considered by the Administrative Services Director in the Sheriff’s Office. County Counsel and the Chief Procurement Officer also reviewed the protest and allegations.
On March 13, 2019, per the protest policy, the County provided a written response to Securus. The informal protest was denied due to a lack of supporting evidence in regard to the allegations raised by the protesting vendor. Securus had two business days from the date of the County’s response to file a formal protest. Securus did not file a formal protest. On a parallel track, on February 12, 2019 Securus filed a public records request for an extensive number of emails and communications between County staff, Board of Supervisors and any other parties regarding the referenced contract. County staff initiated the collection and review of the public records in order to satisfy the public records request. On March 12, 2019, Securus advised the County in writing of the withdrawal its public records request. All remaining public records requests were closed.
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION
The proposed Agreement is a result of an open and competitive solicitation, and meets the goal of the RFP: to provide the County fully operational inmate calling services and service-enabled tablets for inmate use.
This recommendation is therefore being submitted to the Board for consideration of approval and execution of the contract with Legacy Long Distance Int’l Inc. (dba Legacy Inmate Communications).
The resultant contract advances the goal of the County to have a 21st century jail and significantly increases the County’s ability to provide communication to inmates and to increase the availability of independent learning material. Upon completion of independent learning material, inmates may earn access to entertainment content such as movies, music, and games.
Embedded in the tablets will be the ability for all inmates to:
1. Advance their education, at minimum to achieve a GED
2. Review the Inmate Handbook
3. Submit Inmate Requests
4. Place Commissary Orders
5. Submit Inmate Grievances
The contract also provides for optional services available at a cost to the inmates:
A. Edovo Mail
B. Edovo Messenger
C. Voicemail and Video Messaging
This contract provides limited data access to the Office of the District Attorney (DAO). This privilege will allow DAO users to have read-only access to view and download all inmate ICS communications data as covered by this Agreement. This access will not include the ability for DAO users to review educational materials or grievance information. The access will commence only after the Board approves an applicable Surveillance-Use Policy for the technology related to jail inmate communications.
Upon the Board’s execution of the contract, the ICS component will commence and take approximately five months to transition to the new system. The transition phase includes installing new phones in all of the jail facilities, updating the commissary menu, and communicating rate and provider changes to inmates and their families. The anticipated date for new phone service to commence is fourth quarter of 2019.
Upon the Board’s execution of the contract, the ITSP component will commence and take approximately five months to complete. The County is expanding the Wi-Fi to support inmate tablet usage within the facilities. Upon completion of the tablet setup and configuration and the completion of the Wi-Fi expansion, the deployment of the tablets will commence. The anticipated deployment date for the inmate tablets is fourth quarter of 2019.
The Wi-Fi expansion is in progress. TSS has rebalanced funds in the PSJSP program to accommodate an increased scope that would include Wi-Fi coverage fence-to-fence at all correctional facilities should the board approve that scope.
Negotiating pricing for the Inmate Calling Systems and Inmate Tablet Services Platform streams with Legacy led to a base pricing structure with flexibility for future rate reductions. Negotiated rates reflect the following per minute rate reductions from the current pricing paid under contract with the incumbent provider:
· an approximate 25% reduction for calls and collect calls within California
· an approximate 64% reduction for calls outside California
· an approximate 70% reduction for collect calls outside California
· an approximate 80% reduction for calls and collect calls to Canada and Mexico
· an approximate range of 50% to 95% for all other international calls.
For example, the current domestic phone call rates for funded accounts are $.10 per-minute under the incumbent agreement and will drop to $.075 per-minute in the proposed Agreement, with further discounts possible; a call to Mexico or Canada is currently $.60 per-minute under the incumbent agreement and will drop to $.12 per-minute in the proposed agreement, with further discounts possible. In addition, the vendor does not charge any discretionary fees or taxes to friends and families, such as account funding or maintenance fees.
Rates also include approximately 3,600 tablets and related services, which is a new proposed County service for all County inmates.
The negotiated rates also reflect no transaction fees to fund accounts, which is an immediate cost savings to friends and families. Current fees for payments or funding range from $2.50 to $5.95 per transaction, depending on Account Type and Payment Method.
Negotiated discounts will be applied when specific conditions are met: $0.015 reduction to the per minute rate will be applied when the message functionality is enabled on all tablets, and a $.003 reduction to the per minute rate will be applied if the County opts to fully subsidize all phone calls.
Furthermore, under the proposed Agreement the Contractor will establish an Independent Pricing Review Board (IPRB) that will be comprised of the County, Contractor, and public membership, with public participants being selected by Contractor to be approved by the County. The IPRB will review the Contractor’s financials and impact reports and determine whether pricing adjustments are recommended. Recommendations will be made to the County and may lead to amendments to the Agreement. The IPRB will meet annually throughout the term of the Agreement, with the first IPRB meeting to be held 90 days after ICS go-live. By mutual consent, the IPRB may also meet three months after a significant change has been made to the ICS, ITSP, or facilities. Any pricing changes will take place within five business days after an agreement is made.
To the extent that this proposed Agreement facilitates and enhances communications between inmates and their families, it may have a beneficial impact on children.
To the extent that this proposed Agreement facilitates and enhances communications between inmates and their families, it may have a beneficial impact on seniors.
The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.
County goals related to the implementation of the Jail Inmate Services Program include:
· Reduce Recidivism: By providing educational and well-being on-line content as well as other useful resources through the inmate tablet platform, recidivism can be reduced from current levels.
· Reduce Cost: Within the constraints of all applicable legal requirements and government agency mandates, the primary objective of this project is to achieve the lowest possible call and tablet computer based services costs for inmates, called parties and the County, while providing cost recovery to the Contractor.
· Increase Operational Efficiency: Improve accountability and efficiency by utilizing tablets for inmate-initiated processes.
· Improve Customer Service: Establish and maintain an open line of communication where the end-users, at all levels, can have their concerns addressed with an appropriate and meaningful resolution.
As part of the initial implementation of the JISP, the County will provide fully operational inmate calling services and service-enabled tablets for inmate use. The District Attorney’s Office will have investigative privileges only to the ICS; they will not have complete administrative privileges. Investigative privileges will only allow DAO users to access, view, and download inmate ICS communications covered by this Agreement.
The recommended Agreement is for a comprehensive solution that includes the following:
· Usage Monitoring: The ability to monitor calling device and tablet activity as necessary for the safety and security of the general public and our correctional facilities.
· Optimization: Achieve the highest possible performance, utilizing existing County infrastructure and including the maximum possible desirable system requirements requested.
· System Administration: The ability to administratively operate these systems, in an efficient manner, at all levels, from within the correctional facilities where they are installed.
· Future Enhancements: As technology improves, it is expected that the Inmate Calling Systems and Inmate Tablet Services Platform provided under this resultant contract will be constant candidates for enhancements with software upgrades, integration of service platforms and updated industry practices.
All products and services comply with Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, policies from the County’s Information Security Office, and meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION
Failure to approve the recommended action would result in loss of inmate calling systems (inmate outbound calls, visitation phones, investigative services, etc.). Once the current GTL contract for inmates calling systems expires. The current contract with GTL is being extended in order to allow time for a successful transition and implementation of the recommended Agreement. Additionally, the County would not receive the enhanced capabilities of providing inmate tablets, which affects the County’s ability to meet jail reform objectives.
STEPS FOLLOWING APPROVAL
The Clerk of the Board will notify and send copies of the Agreements to Melody Vuong of the Sheriff’s Office, Elizabeth Constantino of Technology Services and Solutions, and Amy Sardella of the Procurement Department once the Agreement has been executed.