Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 220637
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader    

File Number: 220637 File Type: Resolution Status: Amended
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR INMATE Introduced: 3/18/2022
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 4/5/2022 Agenda Item Number: 11A13
Notes: SEE 221139 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO: (I) MAKE ALL TELEPHONE AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR INMATES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT (“MDCR”) JAIL FACILITIES FREE OF CHARGE OR TO ALLOCATE A PERIOD FOR INMATES TO MAKE FREE CALLS EACH DAY IN THE NEXT SOLICITATION AND CONTRACT FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS OR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES; (II) IDENTIFY LEGALLY AVAILABLE FUNDING IN FISCAL YEAR 2021-22 COUNTY BUDGET OR, IF CONTRACT IS TO BE AWARDED IN NEXT FISCAL YEAR, INCLUDE FUNDING IN COUNTY MAYOR’S PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2022-23 COUNTY BUDGET, TO PROVIDE FREE TELEPHONE AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR INMATES IN MDCR JAIL FACILITIES; (III) PROVIDE A REPORT; AND (IV) COMPLY WITH RESOLUTION NO. R-1106-15 [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 220416]
Indexes: DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS AND REHAB.
  INMATE TELEPHONE SERVICES
  TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES
Sponsors: Kionne L. McGhee, Prime Sponsor
  Eileen Higgins, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 4/5/2022 11A13 Amended
REPORT: See Agenda Item 11A13 Amended, Legislative File No. 221139, for the amended version.

County Attorney 3/19/2022 Assigned Shanika A. Graves 3/21/2022

Community Safety and Security Committee 3/10/2022 2E Amended Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves read the title of the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Chairwoman Heyman opened the public hearing for Item 2E and advised speakers they could only speak for one minute. The following persons came forward to express their support of item 2E: -1. Mr. Jeremy McLymant, 33 SW 2 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130; -2. Mr. Camilo Mejia of Catalyst Miami, 3482 Frow Avenue, Miami, Florida 33133; -3. Ms. Rokeia Barnes of Chainless Chains, 161 NE 60 Street, Miami, Florida 33137; -4. Ms. Anaruth Solache of Catalyst Miami, 6776 NW 187 Terrace, Hialeah, Florida 33015; -5. Ms. Chayanne Tanner of Beyond the Bars, 3035 SW 18 Street, Miami, Florida 33145; -6. Mr. James Johnson, 945 NW 53 Street, Miami, Florida 33127; -7. Ms. Lizbeth Torres of Beyond the Bars, 11540 W 35 Street, Hialeah, Florida 33012; -8. Ms. Danielle Estes of Beyond the Bars, 3035 SW 18 Street, Miami, Florida 33045; -9. Ms. Christine Andrews of Beyond the Bars, 12415 NW 22 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33167; -10. Ms. Norma Venereo, 1920 SW 2 Street, Miami, Florida 33135; -11. Ms. Maya Ragsdale of Beyond the Bars, 7800 Carlyle Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33141; and -12. Mr. Alex Saiz, Director of Legal Services for the Florida Justice Center, 3232 Coral Way, Miami, Florida 33145. Due to time constraints, in lieu of having the remaining speakers coming forward to speak, Chairwoman Heyman read out the names of those who supported item 2E: -1. Ms. LaShandra Harvey, 10030 West Indigo Street, Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157; -2. Ms. Alana Greer of the Community Justice Project, 3000 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33137; -3. Ms. Jenneva Clauss, 50 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33132; -4. Mr. Akeel Williams, 1842 NW 43 Street, Miami, Florida 33142; -5. Ms. Katherine Passley, of Beyond the Bars, 21051 San Simeon Way, Miami, Florida 33179; -6. Mr. Fletcher Everett of Beyond the Bars, 111 NW 58 Street, Miami, Florida 33127; -7. Ms. Mahlia Lindquist, 1206 Madrid Street, Coral Gables, Florida 33134; -8. Mr. Oscar Santos, 1200 Broad Street West, Lehigh Acres, Florida 33936; and -9. Mr. Theopolus William, 1391 NW 95 Street, Miami, Florida 33147, had information about Item 2E which would be forwarded to the item’s sponsor, Commissioner McGhee. Discussion ensued among the Committee members about the resolution to provide free phone calls and other communications to inmates at the County’s correctional facilities. Commissioner Sosa suggested, as an incentive to inmates, that technical education be offered through by the County’s public school system. She spoke of the need to protect inmates from threatening phone calls. Assistant County Attorney Graves explained that a proposed amendment by Commissioner McGhee did not require the County Mayor to bring solicitation back to the Board of County Commissioners (Board) for review or approval prior to the award of a contract. She noted the proposed amendment also made conforming changes to the title of the item, and renumbered it. Commissioner Martinez stated he was in support of the foregoing proposal since he was informed by the staff of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR) that the item would reduce violence in the correctional facilities and improve the safety of correctional officers. He asked about the cost for the communication service for inmates. Chairwoman Heyman replied to Commissioner Martinez’ inquiry, that according to the item’s language the cost would be $3 million to $5 million, in addition to a concession made by the County that reduced the phone rate from fourteen cents to five cents per minute. She indicated this difference was funded in the MDCR’s fiscal year 2021-2022 budget, and the estimated commission the County lost was estimated at over $2 million. Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal stated the proposed amendment allowed the item to travel through regular procurement processes. He noted the costs would be known after bids came in, although the Committee or Board could request a report on estimated costs. In response to Chairwoman Heyman’s comments and inquiry, Ms. Cassandra Jones, Interim Director of MDCR, reported that while the rise in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases restricted in-person visits, inmates were allowed four 25-minute video calls. She added that if the COVID-19 cases continued to decline, the MDCR would allow in-person visits. She indicated she did not have any data about how the volume of calls changed due to the in-person restrictions, but expected the volume to increase once no-cost phone use became available for inmates. Chairwoman Heyman asked for more information regarding call volume to be provided by the next Board meeting. Chairwoman Heyman noted that private video conferences between inmates and public defenders were funded by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office and should not be included in the budget for the free phone calls and communications. Assistant County Attorney Graves advised Chairwoman Heyman that the County Attorney’s Office had to determine if fundraising was allowed by organizations to help pay for the service. Ms. Jones detailed the proposed service, which allowed inmates to have: • 90 minutes of free phone calls per day; • two hours of video visitations per day; • two electronic messages per week; • unlimited receipt of digitalized personal mail and • unlimited receipt of digitalized privileged mail Ms. Jones also informed the Committee that the calls and communications would be done via individual electronic tablet devices. She indicated the vendor would charge for some services, such as apps purchases, which would be the bulk of the costs. Chairwoman Heyman requested more information about the costs for the service. Assistant County Attorney Graves read an amendment proposed by Commissioner McGhee to delete Section 5, renumber Section 6, and accordingly, make conforming changes to the title of the item. It was moved by Commissioner McGhee that the Committee forward the aforementioned proposed resolution with a favorable recommendation, as amended. This motion was seconded by Chairwoman Heyman, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 4-0 (Commissioners Gilbert and Sosa were absent).

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO: (I) MAKE ALL TELEPHONE AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR INMATES IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT (“MDCR”) JAIL FACILITIES FREE OF CHARGE OR TO ALLOCATE A PERIOD FOR INMATES TO MAKE FREE CALLS EACH DAY IN THE NEXT SOLICITATION AND CONTRACT FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS OR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES; (II) IDENTIFY LEGALLY AVAILABLE FUNDING IN FISCAL YEAR 2021-22 COUNTY BUDGET OR, IF CONTRACT IS TO BE AWARDED IN NEXT FISCAL YEAR, INCLUDE FUNDING IN COUNTY MAYOR’S PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2022-23 COUNTY BUDGET, TO PROVIDE FREE TELEPHONE AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR INMATES IN MDCR JAIL FACILITIES; (III) PROVIDE A REPORT; AND (IV) COMPLY WITH RESOLUTION NO. R-1106-15

BODY
WHEREAS, some inmates can spend years housed in Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (“MDCR”) jail facilities; and
WHEREAS, for many inmates, telephone calls to family and friends are their lifelines to the outside world; and
WHEREAS, this became especially true in March of 2020 when the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) became a global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, before the pandemic, MDCR permitted in-person visitations at its jails; and
WHEREAS, however, after the pandemic struck, to combat COVID-19, MDCR imposed safety guidelines which include prohibiting in-person visitations; and
WHEREAS, as a result, inmates must rely on verbal and written means to communicate with friends and family; and
WHEREAS, in addition, for safety reasons, inmates are not permitted to have cellular telephones and must use the telephone services provided by MDCR; and
WHEREAS, on November 9, 2021, the Miami Herald reported that the cost of jail telephone calls provided under the County’s contract with Global Tel*Link Corporation would be reduced from $0.14 to $0.05 per minute, and inmates would be entitled to receive two free 15-minute calls each week from the month of November through the duration of the current contract, which expires on July 31, 2022; and
WHEREAS, this $0.09 per minute price difference in telephone calls is funded in MDCR’s FY 2021-22 budget and was made possible because the County opted to forgo the commissions it ordinarily would have received under the balance of the contract term, which have been estimated to be more than $2,000,000.00; and
WHEREAS, in the upcoming months MDCR will utilize a formal competitive solicitation process to select a vendor to provide telecommunication or other communication services after its existing contract expires on July 31, 2022; and
WHEREAS, although jail telephone calls that are $0.09 less expensive than previous call prices are a step in the right direction, more can and should be done to further reduce the cost of telephone calls for inmates to communicate with their friends and family members; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that during negotiations for the new telecommunications or communications services contract, that best efforts are used to obtain telephone services at no cost to inmates or that inmates are provided telephone services free of charge for a daily allotment of time,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are hereby incorporated herein by reference and adopted by this Board.
Section 2. Subject to the identification and approval of funding, this Board directs the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee to make all telephone and communication services for inmates in Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (“MDCR”) jail facilities free of charge or to allocate a period for inmates to make free calls each day in the next solicitation and contract for telecommunications or communications services at MDCR jail facilities.
Section 3. If the County Mayor or Mayor’s designee: (a) anticipates issuing a solicitation and/or awarding a new contract for telecommunications or communications services in Fiscal Year 2021-22, this Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to identify one or more legally available funding sources from the Fiscal Year 2021-22 County Budget to make all telephone services for inmates in MDCR jail facilities free of charge or to allocate a period for inmates to make free calls each day in such contract; or ?(b) does not issue a solicitation and/or award a new contract for telecommunications or communications services in Fiscal Year 2021-22, directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to? include sufficient funds in the County Mayor's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 to make all telephone and communication services for inmates in MDCR jail facilities free of charge or to allocate a period for inmates to make free calls each day in ?such contract.
Section 4. In the event such funding in the Fiscal Year 2021-22 County Budget is not available for the purposes set forth in section 3(a) above, the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee shall provide a report to this Board within 30 days of the effective date of this resolution and shall place the completed report on an agenda of the full Board pursuant to Ordinance No. 14-65. Such report shall be presented directly to the full Board without committee review.
[[Section 5. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to present any solicitation for the purchase of telecommunication or communication services at MDCR jail facilities to the Board for its review and approval prior to advertisement. To the extent a solicitation for the purchase of telecommunication or communication services at MDCR jail facilities has already been advertised as of the effective date of this resolution, the Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to: (a) place such solicitation, including any addenda, on an agenda of the full Board without committee review, for the Board's review and approval of the solicitation prior to the submission of responses or proposals; and (b) to issue an addendum extending the due date for responses or proposals to a date that is no less than 30 days following the date the solicitation is presented to the Board.]] 1
Section [[6]]>>5<<. This Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to ensure that this Board’s policy of encouraging County vendors to utilize a diverse workforce that is reflective of the racial, gender and ethnic diversity of Miami-Dade County and employ locally-based small firms and employees from the communities where work is being performed as set forth in Resolution No. R-1106-15 is adhered to in the next solicitation and contract for telecommunications or communications services at MDCR jail facilities.
1 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] are deleted, words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< are added.



Home  |   Agendas  |   Minutes  |   Legislative Search  |   Lobbyist Registration  |   Legislative Reports
2022 BCC Meeting Calendar  |   Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances   |   ADA Notice  |  

Home  |  Using Our Site  |  About Phone Directory  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer

E-mail your comments, questions and suggestions to Webmaster  

Web Site © 2022 Miami-Dade County.
All rights reserved.