ICE seeks new phone services for detainees

Shutterstock image (by TebNad): Satellite dishes over sunset.

What: Immigration and Customs Enforcement request for proposals from vendors for its Detainee Telephone Services VI (DTS-VI), to support its pro bono telephone network platform.

ICE said that its no-cost telephone network serves 22,000 detainees housed at contract detention facilities, ICE-owned service processing centers, state and local facilities operating under intergovernmental service agreements, and short-term holding facilities.

Detainees using the system dial an access number into a centralized platform to talk about their cases with counsel. ICE said in the last 12 months, 1.7 million calls were made on the system, currently provided by Talton Communications. Average calls lasted two minutes.

Why: ICE said in the RFP that it wants proposals from potential contractors explaining how they would provide no-cost telephone service for detainees, as well as intrastate and interstate debit, collect and pre-paid collect, and debit international calling for detainees at some of its sprawling national complex of illegal immigration detention centers.

Detainees are housed at 21 primary facilities, 200 secondary and 64 tertiary facilities across the country. ICE said that there are about 14,000 detainees in primary locations, along with 2,200 telephones for their use.

ICE said the vendor will support the pro bono platform at all primary, secondary and tertiary ICE locations at no cost to ICE or the detainees. It said the contractor will be given exclusive rights to the sale of intrastate and interstate debit, collect and pre-paid collect, and debit international calls made at primary and tertiary facilities. Only free calls are provided at secondary detention facilities.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on May 26, 2015 at 11:17 AM


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