S.B. No. 1580
relating to the provision of pay telephone service to inmates
confined in facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal
       SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 495, Government Code, is
amended by adding Section 495.025 to read as follows:
       Sec. 495.025.  INMATE PAY TELEPHONE SERVICE.  (a)  The board
shall request proposals from private vendors for a contract to
provide pay telephone service to eligible inmates confined in
facilities operated by the department. The board may not consider a
proposal or award a contract to provide the service unless under the
contract the vendor:
             (1)  provides for installation, operation, and
maintenance of the service without any cost to the state;
             (2)  pays the department a commission of not less than
40 percent of the gross revenue received from the use of any service
             (3)  provides a system with the capacity to:
                   (A)  compile approved inmate call lists;
                   (B)  verify numbers to be called by inmates, if
                   (C)  oversee entry of personal identification
                   (D)  use a biometric identifier of the inmate
making the call;
                   (E)  generate reports to department personnel on
inmate calling patterns; and
                   (F)  network all individual facility systems
together to allow the same investigative monitoring from department
headquarters that is available at each facility;
             (4)  provides on-site monitoring of calling patterns
and customizes technology to provide adequate system security;
             (5)  provides a fully automated system that does not
require a department operator;
             (6)  provides for periodic review by the state auditor
of documents maintained by the vendor regarding billing procedures
and statements, rate structures, computed commissions, and service
             (7)  ensures that a ratio of not greater than 30
eligible inmates per communication device is maintained at each
             (8)  ensures that no charge will be assessed for an
uncompleted call and that the charge for local calls will not be
greater than the highest rate for local calls for inmates in county
jails; and
             (9)  ensures that each eligible inmate or person acting
on behalf of an eligible inmate may prepay for the service.
       (b)  The board shall award a contract to a single private
vendor to install, operate, and maintain the inmate pay telephone
service. The initial term of the contract may not be less than
seven years. The contract must provide the board with the option of
renewing the contract for additional two-year terms.
       (c)  The department shall transfer 50 percent of all
commissions paid to the department by a vendor under this section to
the compensation to victims of crime fund established by Subchapter
B, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the other 50 percent
to the credit of the undedicated portion of the general revenue
fund, except that the department shall transfer the first $10
million of the commissions collected in any given year under a
contract awarded under this section to the compensation to victims
of crime fund established by Subchapter B, Chapter 56, Code of
Criminal Procedure.  This section does not reduce any appropriation
to the department.
       (d)  Subject to board approval, the department shall adopt
policies governing the use of the pay telephone service by an inmate
confined in a facility operated by the department, including a
policy governing the eligibility of an inmate to use the service.  
The policies adopted under this subsection may not unduly restrict
calling patterns or volume and must allow for an average monthly
call usage rate of eight calls, with each call having an average
duration of not less than 10 minutes, per eligible inmate.
       (e)  The department shall ensure that the inmate is allowed
to communicate only with persons who are on a call list that is
preapproved by the department.  Except as provided by Subsection
(f), the department shall ensure that all communications under this
section are recorded and preserved for a reasonable period of time
for law enforcement and security purposes.  A recording under this
subsection is excepted from disclosure under Chapter 552.
       (f)  The department shall ensure that no confidential
attorney-client communication is monitored or recorded by the
department or any person acting on the department's behalf and
shall provide to the vendor the name and telephone number of each
attorney who represents an inmate to ensure that communication
between the inmate and the attorney is not monitored or recorded.
       SECTION 2.  The Texas Board of Criminal Justice shall award a
contract under Section 495.025, Government Code, as added by this
Act, not later than September 1, 2008.
       SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
President of the Senate             Speaker of the House
       I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1580 passed the Senate on
April 26, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
   Secretary of the Senate
       I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1580 passed the House on
May 2, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0, two present
not voting.
   Chief Clerk of the House