Inmate Services (ISV)

As of September 1, 2020

The pending summarized recommendations listed below reflect the most current information and actions taken since the previous Board Study Session.  Summarized recommendations marked as complete have been updated for the March 10, 2020 Board Study Session.​​​

There are 64 recommendations in the category of Inmate Services that are included in the Summarized Recommendations below.​​

    Steps Taken: The Sheriff’s Office is working on this analysis, and will provide more information on the number and location of telephones.

    The Sheriff’s Office brought an action to the Board on February 28, 2017 relating to the Inmate Welfare Fund and inmate services. As part of that action, the Board approved the following objectives for the RFP for telephone services previously approved by the Board’s Finance and Government Operations Committee:

    1. The best value to the County in the form of an inmate telephone security system and security support, including call monitoring, call recording and storage, and call recording management and retrieval system.
    2. The lowest possible per-minute inmate telephone call cost.
    3. No IWF commission.
    4. The lowest possible called party costs.
    5. Full cost recovery only.
    6. No County subsidy.

    The Sheriff’s Office has also added phones to the 6th and 7th floors at Main Jail North and will continue to add phones until the overall number of phones at Main Jail North has doubled.

    The Sheriff’s Office is presenting a 1 year extension of the contract with the current telephone vendor at the August 2017 Jail Reforms Study Session.

    This Summarized Recommendation has been completed.​

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: Reduced reimbursements from the Inmate Welfare Fund ($1.3 million) so that the Inmate Welfare Fund positions and services would not get cut.
    • February 28, 2017: The Board approved changes to the Inmate Welfare Fund, which will have an impact of $484,202 during FY 2017, and approximately $2.3 million of impacts to the General Fund.
    • The Board approved a one-year extension of the contract with the current telephone vendor at the August 15, 2017 Jail Reforms Study Session.

    County Administration and the department are evaluating to determine if additional resources are needed.

    Source Report(s): Human Relations Commission, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 99, 163, 164, 335

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: Visiting hours have increased and the Sheriff’s Office is looking for continued expansion opportunities.

    The Online Visiting system is a user-friendly visitation and cancellation system. Visiting sign-in requirement was reduced to 30-minutes, rather than 45-minutes, so visitors have 15-minutes extra to arrive for check-in. A new visiting rejection form is being created and implemented to provide the public with a time-stamped receipt explaining why a visit/visitor was denied. A user-friendly ‘complaint’ kiosk is located in the lobby of each jail facility, located just outside the visiting sign-in area.

    The Sheriff’s Office is also researching available technology that will allow visitors to utilize an app for instant scheduling and confirmation of visits, which can also send email and/or text reminders.

    As of February 2020, the jail visiting website has been redesigned in order to improve the effectiveness and ease of navigation. Information and updates were based on conversations and suggestions made by visitors to the site.

    Since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, visitation has been a challenge. The Sheriff’s Office recognizes the value that visitation plays in maintaining relationships and in the overall wellness of inmates. The Sheriff’s Office has worked with the Public Health Department to develop protocols to maintain safe and sanitary conditions for visitors and inmates to the highest degree possible and will continue to do so through the end of the pandemic.

    Budget Status: County Administration and the department are evaluating to determine if additional resources are needed.

    Source Report(s): Human Relations Commission, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 166-169, 334

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The IWFC convened a subcommittee to evaluate the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission.

    The Sheriff’s Office brought an action to the Board on February 28, 2017 relating to the Inmate Welfare Fund and inmate services. As part of that action, the Board voted to end commissary commissions, which was an overall price reduction of 52.5% effective March 1, 2017. Since the current contract with Aramark Commissary Network will expire on June 30, 2017, staff will vigorously renegotiate the contract to lower prices even further beginning July 1, 2017. Staff will also draft a two-year extension with Aramark to lock in the reduced prices while studying alternative models and preparing an RFP for commissary services.

    The Sheriff’s Office provided an off-agenda report to the Board of Supervisors on January 23, 2018 with an analysis of in-house commissary options.

    This Summarized Recommendation has been completed.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: Reduced reimbursements from the Inmate Welfare Fund ($1.3 million) so that the Inmate Welfare Fund positions and services would not get cut.
    • February 28, 2017: The Board approved changes to the Inmate Welfare Fund, which will have an impact of $484,202 during FY 2017, and approximately $2.3 million of impacts to the General Fund.

    County Administration and the department are evaluating to determine if additional resources are needed.

    The Sheriff’s Office has been analyzing issues and compiling resource need requests for FY 2018 related to this Summarized Recommendation, which will help to assist with evaluating commissary models.

    Source Report(s): Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 72 - 74, 84 - 88, 174

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The IWFC convened a subcommittee to evaluate the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission.

    The Inmate Welfare Fund Committee is a Brown Act body whose composition, rules and responsibilities are defined by bylaws that were approved by the Board of Supervisors. The overall purpose of the Inmate Welfare Fund Committee is to implement the provisions of California Penal Code Section 4025. Eight of the nine members of the Inmate Welfare Fund Committee are assigned to designated positions within the County. The final member is a non-County employee with expertise in inmate programs.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: Reduced reimbursements from the Inmate Welfare Fund ($1.3 million) so that the Inmate Welfare Fund positions and services would not get cut.
    • February 28, 2017: The Board approved changes to the Inmate Welfare Fund, which will have an impact of $484,202 during FY 2017, and approximately $2.3 million of impacts to the General Fund.

    Source Report(s): Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 75-83, 89-92, 95-98

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The Sheriff’s Office is in process of conducting these revisions and additional information will be provided in future reports.

    The Sheriff’s Office recently began utilizing slide presentations and short informational videos that are played in the facilities and communicate operational changes and disseminate minutes from the Inmate Advisory Council meetings.

    The Inmate Orientation video continuously plays in the following areas: Men's and Women's Intake/Booking, Main Jail Classification, and Elmwood Processing. Inmates have access to the important information this video provides. This orientation video is also played daily in all housing units.

    The Sheriff's Office has completed a new Inmate Rulebood and it is posted on the Sheriff's Office website and being distributed to  inmates and staff.  

    The Sheriff’s Office is in the process of revising the Inmate Rulebook to include new and updated since its last revision. The revised Inmate Rulebook will be posted to the Sheriff’s Office website. As tablets are introduced into the jails, the Sheriff’s Office will consider various formats for providing this information on the devices.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2016 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Sergeant position and 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy position ($314,500) were added for the Professional Compliance unit.
    • November 2015: Also for the Professional Compliance Unit, 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant, 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Sergeant, and 2 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy positions were added ($741,000)
    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 5 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy positions and 1 Clerk position ($827,539) were added to the Office of Operational Standards and Inspection Unit to support policy and compliance work.

    Source Report(s): Sheriff’s Jail Reform Plan, Human Relations Commission, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 66-71, 336, 407-413

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The Sheriff’s Office has established Inmate Advisory Councils to assist with communication between inmates and jail administration. The Sheriff’s Office has held two Inmate Advisory Council (IAC) meetings at Elmwood and one at Main Jail.  The next meetings will be in July 2017.  The Sheriff’s Office has also begun regular meetings with advocacy groups to discuss operational changes so that they can help to communicate information to inmates and their families.

    In March, the Sheriff’s Office began utilizing Monthly Inmate Information Bulletins in the facilities. Updates are broadcasted on the televisions in the housing units to assist with disseminating information to inmates.

    Quarterly Inmate Advisory Council (IAC) meetings were scheduled for January, April, July and October 2017.

     
            Q1) January 9, 2017  


            Q2) April 24, 2017 


            Q3) July 17, 2017 


            Q4) October 16, 2017


    Prior to each meeting, IAC participation rules of conduct are reviewed, and administration and participants discuss all agenda items submitted by inmates.  Meeting minutes are shared with inmates (inmate video loop) and a copy is sent to the Jail Observer Program.

    Inmate Information Bulletins and the Inmate Advisory Council continue.  The Sheriff’s Office has contracted with Gary Raney to conduct a culture assessment that can be used to develop an employee and inmate survey to track ongoing progress.  His initial report of findings will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on April 3, 2018.

    On July 18, 2018 GAR, Inc. presented the results of the first inmate survey.  The results have been posted on the Sheriff’s Jail Reforms website.  The Sheriff’s Office plans to continue inmate surveys annually as recommended by GAR, Inc. once tablets have been introduced to the facilities.

    This summarized recommendation has been completed and efforts to expand programs are ongoing.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: Reduced reimbursements from the Inmate Welfare Fund ($1.3 million) so that the Inmate Welfare Fund positions and services would not get cut.
    • February 28, 2017: The Board approved changes to the Inmate Welfare Fund, which will have an impact of $484,202 during FY 2017, and approximately $2.3 million of impacts to the General Fund.

    Source Report(s): Sheriff’s Jail Reform Plan, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, Department of Justice, Civil Grand Jury, Zisser

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 62-65, 110, 165, 171, 175, 191, 197, 406, 523, 535

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on December 19, 2016.​

    ©2021 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.