RFP 09182017-01 for Inmate Phone Service

This is a request to provide inmate telephone services as well as visitation phones and call recording and monitoring


Please see the tab "Procurement Forms" and complete and sign by an authorized representative of the prooser each of the forms contained with-in and include as attachments to the proposal.

Issued By: 
Tim Wertheimer
Issue Date: 
Closing Date: 
(757) 942-0555
Workman's Comp Required: 

Questions and Answers

The Q&A section is the sole source for questions and answers pertaining to a specific bid. All questions pertaining to the bid must be emailed to timwert@wtrj.org or by submitting the form located in the sidebar on the right side of the page. No questions will be answered or acknowledged by phone. Responses will be publicly posted in the Q&A section found below.

  1. The RFP has a proposal deadline of November 1 on page 1 and of October 20 in the schedule on page 2. What is the correct proposal due date and time?

    1. corrected on our website copy

  2. The RFP states that the Offer Notification to the selected contractor will be November 1 on page 2 and December 1 on page 9. Which is the correct date?

    1. corrected on our website copy

  3. In order to provide our best possible offer, it is very important to have historical call volume information for all call types. Call volume data is necessary to estimate costs as well as potential revenues. The current vendor has access to this information, so distributing the information to other vendors in a timely fashion will ensure a level playing field for all bidders. Please provide as much data as possible from the following chart: 



Yes but it does reflects and highlight VA code so it is still appropriate for this RFP

P.5, H – PROPOSAL EVALUATION, 1. How will the proposal criterion Nos. 2-8 be weighted and scored? We are awaiting to see responses before we determine a scale. We are anticipating a wide range of options and add ons and they make one presentation better than another. Prepaid commissions will be the highest ranking of all of the critieria

  1. On page 8 of the issued RFP, Section D.4 requires that all Offerors “disclose all fees associated with establishing debit and pre-paid accounts (ex: transaction fee, refund fee, etc.)”.In other areas of the RFP Fees are prohibited.Please confirm that submitting Offerors are permitted to charge fees as long as they outline what those fees are within their response.


    The RFP has been changed to reflect that fees and charges are allowed as long as they are disclosed and legally & morally sound.



  2. While in attendance at the mandatory pre-bid meeting on October 6, 2017 it was mentioned that a full-time person is not required.Please confirm that this is correct.


    Per the pre-bid meeting, a full time person is not required unless the volume of phone plus additional services like tablets for example warrant it. This would be a discussion item handled during the best and final offer from the top 2 proposers


  3. On page 7 of the issued RFP, Section B.1 states “List facility name, city, state, and type of correctional institutions (jail or prison) where Offeror is providing an Inmate Telephone System and the length of time that each contract has been in effect. This information must be submitted on the Client Reference in Attachment C.”  Please confirm that a listing in table (Excel) format is acceptable, provided the above information is in the table, for this submission since certain Offerors will have hundreds of accounts listed.


    The Form also says a minimum of 3. We do not want every customer that every vendor has and prefer clients in VA with as close to an average ADP of between 800 and 100 as possible.


  1. On page 44-45 of the issued RFP, Section N indicates “MANDATORY USE OF WESTERN TIDEWATER REGIONAL JAILFORMS AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS: ……Modification of or additions to the General Terms and Conditions of the solicitation may be cause for rejection of the proposal; however Western Tidewater Regional Jail reserves the right to decide, on a case by case basis, in its sole discretion, whether to reject such a proposal.”  Please confirm that Offerors can propose certain service specific terms and conditions applicable to the services to be provided which would not be addressed by the Facility’s General Terms and Conditions or Special Terms .


Again, you may propose anything but any deviation from the required forms or specifications must be notated on the deviations from RFP form located under procurement forms on our website. If you are selected for a best & final proposal meeting, these items can be negotiated and/or discussed

What are the current fees and amounts charged to inmates, inmates’ family and friends for depositing funds into an inmate’s phone and trust account? That will be dependnent on your representation and FCC regulations.


P. 32, V, SCOPE OF SERVICES – COMMISSION PAYMENT AND REPORTING, R, 2: Would the Jail please provide a copy of the current Traffic Detail Report that includes each of the items for each inmate telephone station broken down by collect, debit and pre-paid call types: (a)-(q)? It is attachged above without the commision and revenue coplumns


P. 33, V, SCOPE OF SERVICES – FEE REQUIREMENTS, S, 5: What are the current fees and amounts charged to inmates, inmates’ family and friends for:

  1. Account Set Up Fees

  2. Bill Statement Fees

  3. Technology Fees

  4. Credit Card Processing Fees

  5. Account Fees

  6. Equipment Damage Fees

  7. Intralata Fees

  8. Bill Rendering Fees

  9. Universal Services Fund Fees

  10. Dial Around Fees

  11. Processing Transaction Fees

  12. Bill Recovery Fees

  13. Processing Fees

  14. Debit and/or Pre-Paid Card Fees

  15. Fees Associated with Closing, Dissolving and/or Termination of Accounts

  16. Special Fees

  17. Termination Fees

  18. Additional Fees, Charges, Reimbursements, Surcharges

    These are all to be determined by your proposal and by negotiat9ion with the top 1 top 3 vendors.


P.46, QUALIFICATIONS OF PROPOSERS, R: “Western Tidewater Regional Jail reserves the right to inspect Proposer’s physical plant prior to award to satisfy questions regarding the Proposer’s capabilities.” Please confirm that the inspection trip by WTRJ, including all expenses (travel, lodging and meals) will be paid for by the Proposer.


P. 53, RENEWAL OF CONTRACT, X: Please confirm that this contract’s initial term is five (5) years, starting February 1, 2018, with the option for two (2) additional one year terms as stated on page 1 of the RFP. Yes 5 years with 2 one year options

Can you tell me if the facility has been wired for CAT 5 or CAT 6 cabling?

 Neither cat 3 4 line analog

Are there any early release program that will have an effect on the ADP over the next 12-24 months?

 Yes we have and have always have early release but our ad is between 650 and 800 usually. Now it is about 720

What is the average length of stay for an inmate?

 Average is about 100 days although that takes into account weekende3rs, bailed out, me, and other categories that skew the numbers

Can the vendor offer more than one call rate and commission plan?

 Woo can offer as many as you want

How many "electronic interface" kiosks does the agency require?

 If you are talking about monetary kiosks, we are not sure if the phone provider or the inmate accounting company will be supply those

Re: JMS system and can you provide the contact information?

 Interact Jail Tracker mmartin@caliberpublicsafety.com

Re:  Commissary Company, can you provide their contact information?

 See our website under inmate services

May I get a copy of the current inmate phone services contract?

 Already posted


I am filling out the registration form today for the pre-bid meeting.


It has slots for 2 attendees.  Is that all you will allow, or can we bring an additional person?

Yes that is fine


We have noticed differing formatting requirements from the below WTRJ sources:

RFP No. 09182017-01 Document, pages 6-9

  • Proposal Requirements and Format Specifications document, on WTRJ website (http://www.wtrj.org/procurement-forms)

  • Procurement Process document, on WTRJ website (bottom of page 2) (http://www.wtrj.org/procurement-forms)

    Which proposal format instructions does WTRJ want proposers to follow?

                            Throne ion the one in the RFP iOS the moats current one. The other one  is generic for smaller rfps


Please confirm WTRJ is expecting a minimum of 3 current clients, 3 former clients, and 3 software interface references, for a total of 9 unique references.


Please confirm all references are to be provided on Attachment C, Client References (page 56), and that proposers are permitted to make copies of Attachment C for each reference.

`                       YES

Please confirm Appendix 1 on WTRJ’s website (http://www.wtrj.org/procurement-forms) is for reference only.

Yes we have 6 legal handsets which are not recorded and 54 visitation phones that are recorded. Of those we have 4 sets setup that we can switch the recording on or off if we need additional legal space. Everything is wired and recorded now and we have the ability to grant outside access to approved individuals to log in and listen to what we give them rights to like the commonwealth attorney

The RFP does not address how proprietary information will be protected, but requires financial statements and a redacted electronic copy to be submitted with the proposal. As a privately held company, our financial statements are exempt from public disclosure. Could the County please confirm that, if information marked appropriately as confidential and redacted from the redacted electronic copy is sought for public disclosure, the County will not disclose such information, but will notify the proposer and allow reasonable opportunity to defend the claim that such information is confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act? The redacted copy is the only copy that will be available to the public. Once the award is issued, all proposer's redacted copies will be posted on the website. Lastly, we are an authority not a county. We serve 1 county and 2 cities. In VA cities do not have to reside in a county. Please confirm that there are 30 visitation pairs for 60 total handsets. Also, are they wired to the inmate telephone system for recording and monitoring today?

We have approximately 80 wall mounted phones, 10 that are on wheels, and 60 for visitation and /or legal. Contracts are now uploaded

 Would you provide current call rates being used within the facility? Contained in contract amendment Please confirm the period the call data is from (dates). last month On page 10, you are asking for 3 references from current customers (over 800 ADP) and 3 customers that we have lost.   I had this come up in a previous RFP and was told to remove the LOST references.  Do you plan to keep that in the RFP? yes Also, on Page 10, you are asking for detailed list of software interfaces that are in use.  This is a fairly extensive list as we interfaces with most any outside vendor. In addition, you are asking for a list of references over 800 using those interfaces.  This is also a very extensive list as we have many accounts over 800 ADP.  How many references are you looking for? we are using Oasis, Aramark, Jail Tracker that need to interface with the phone system



Will the WTRJ please outline the fees that are being charged by the current vendor:

  1. Bill Statement Fee

  2. PrePaid Account Funding Fee via Web

  3. PrePaid Account Funding Fee via IVR

  4. PrePaid Account Funding Fee via Live Operator

  5. Fees for Instant Pay Calls                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Per the contract these are confidential.

  6. Please provide a copy of all current contracts and amendments pertaining to phones and video   we do not offer video visitation and the contract provides no relevant information to the bidding on this RFP. It is simply legal requirements and remedies. I will request a redacted copy but cannot guarantee when I will get it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Please provide the commission percentage currently received on inmate telephone revenue, an average of monthly commissions received over the past year from the current vendor, and copies of commission statements from the last six months.                    We are preaid each year $360K for commissions and revenues and each month it is reconciled until we either have earned more commission which are then paid or did not make enough which the current supplier eats.                                              

Do commissions from this contract go to the Inmate Welfare Fund, the Sheriff’s Office discretionary fund, or the County general fund? We are a regional jail which means we do not have a sheriff or county. The commissions from outside parties are put in our Operating fund while the commissions from the inmate's fees go to our Canteen Fund

Is the inmate trust account managed through the commissary system or the Jail Management System or other system?  If other, please specify. We us lock down for the inmate accounting software. We use Jail Tracker for our JMS. We use QuickBooks for our Work Release program. We use MAS 100 for our operating and canteen funds


Commissions and revenue are confidential and are dependent on your proposal.

Also, in order to help us evaluate call volumes and recognize additional revenue potential, it is very helpful to have the rates currently being charged to called parties under the current contract. Please provide the following information:

  1. Discussion at the pre-bid indicated the County does not require video visitation services or tablets as part of the proposal; however, Requirement U on page 36 of the RFP states, “Offeror shall provide or interface with a video visitation system either through their own tablet program or one determined to be beneficial to WTRJ.” Please clarify, does the County require video visitation and/or tablets?


We are very interested in a video visitation program and want to make sure that the phone system is compatible with one when we get one. This an area where the phone prooser can offer an option for this service.


  1. Page 31, Requirement 12 states, “Offer shall pay commission calculated on total Gross Revenue generated by and  through the ITS including collect, pre-paid and debit local, intralata/intrastate, interlata/intrastate, and international calls…” However, this requirement excludes interstate calls from commissionable revenue. Please confirm that the awarded vendor will be required to pay commissions an all local and long-distance calling including interstate calls.

Yes that is correct. Commisions will be paid on any phone use except for ordering of canteen or other strictly jail related functions such as requesting a medical appointment if we deploy that option.


Many ITS vendors are currently using the recent FCC rate caps as an excuse to avoid paying commissions on interstate calls. However, the portion of the FCC ruling which would have capped interstate rates at half the current rate caps, as well as prohibiting commissions on interstate calls, was stayed pending court review; in other words, that portion was removed from the current ruling, making commissions on these calls perfectly allowable under current FCC regulations. In fact, the FCC Order clearly states (at Paragraph 56 on page 31): We do not conclude that ICS providers and correctional facilities cannot have arrangements that include site commissions. [emphasis added]


Therefore, in order to receive comparable, competitive bids from all vendors, it is important that the County clarify that it does require commissions to be paid on interstate calls, as well as all in-state and international calls, as allowed for under all current FCC orders and regulations.


This is a restatement of your previous question which I answered already above.

A question that arose was regarding the desired additional services and options.  Can you provide a description on how those will be evaluated and or scored?

This was simply saying that you could include things like tablets, kiosks, voice recognition software, etc. in the proposal as an additional option. As such they would not be scored unless it was something that after seeing it, we felt we could not live without.


Can you confirm that the Offeror can specify the Call Types as for the tables in Attachment D as:  Local, Intralata, Interlata, Interstate, and International to avoid confusion and fully meet your request?

Yes you may. Use the template as a guide but modify any way you would like to show whatever information you feel is important.